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Tip of the Month

5/23/2011 The War against Fleas and Ticks

Since the life cycle of the flea and tick vary between several weeks to several months it may take that long to get the infestation under control so be patient. Fleas combs, dips, shampoos, sprays and powders will usually kill the fleas and ticks that are on your pet: however, you must remember to treat the environment also. There are many choices for killing and / or preventing fleas and ticks on your pet but be sure to check with your veterinarian before combining fleas products such as shampoos along with topical products and / or foggers for your home. You can also get assistance in choosing the right products from an ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant.

Keeping your pets out of the grasses and wooded areas will help to keep ticks from attaching to them: however, fleas are prevalent in all areas.

Once a month flea and tick products are applied to a small area along the back or neck of the pet. They last the longest, are the easiest to use and are contained in pre-packaged doses. But some only kill fleas and not ticks so it is important to read the product information before using. It is also vital that these products are used correctly:
- Use the correct dose for the correct weight of the pet.
- Do not apply more than the recommended dose – more of the topical flea and / or tick product is not better and can cause serious side effects including skin irritation or sickness.
- Never apply topical flea and / or tick products that are made for dogs on cats: this can cause serious illness or even death.

Shampoos and Dips:
Some shampoos have a residual action as opposed to dips but should be applied in a well ventilated area. When shampooing or applying a dip, the entire animal must be covered and the shampoo and / or dip be allowed to sit for several minutes (read the instructions carefully) before rinsing the pet. It is important to not only protect the eyes of your pet (shampoo and dips will sting the eyes and may cause ulcers on the corneas) but also the ears. Placing a cotton ball just slightly into opening of the ear will keep any shampoo and / or dip from entering the ear canal. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself make an appointment with the veterinary assistant or receptionist at your local veterinary hospital.

Powders can be quite messy so use in a well ventilated area and try not to inhale any of the powder yourself. It is important that the powder reaches the skin of your pet so you must lay the fur opposite the growth and apply well. Do not allow the powder to fall into your pet’s eyes as it will cause irritation.

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