Flea & Tick Services in Germantown, MD
As the temperatures rise, your pets may start spending more time outdoors. While they’re sure to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, it also puts them at a higher risk of contracting fleas and getting ticks and other parasites.
How can you protect your pet from these dangers? It’s crucial to make sure their flea and tick medication is up-to-date for the coming season.
When does my pet need flea and ticket prevention?
Ticks and fleas thrive in warm weather, transmitting blood-borne parasites that are often fatal. Fleas carry diseases like typhus and bubonic plague, while ticks carry several viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
Skin irritation and hotspots are often the first sign of potential flea and tick problems, so infestations pose a significant danger to your pet.
Tick and flea populations increase in summer but pose a year-round threat. In Maryland, where winter temperatures are frequently as high as 35 degrees, parasites can multiply throughout the year.
Certain species may become dormant, but local weather isn’t cold enough to kill these particular parasites. Your pets need treatment throughout the year.
At Germantown Vet, we recommend monthly topical treatment — but it’s crucial that you get the correct dosage for the size and species of your pet. Our experienced veterinarians can help you choose the proper medication.
Tick & Flea Treatments
It used to be that the best you could do for your pets was give them a flea bath. These days, vets can prescribe several effective treatments:
- Chewable afoxolaner kills fleas before they can reproduce. It’s FDA-approved for Lyme disease prevention and can protect your pet for four to six months.
- Fluralaner is also chewable and kills parasites via the bloodstream.
- Shampoos can help with existing infestations, but they aren’t preventative.
- Topical fipronil kills ticks and fleas at every stage of the life cycle. Treatments usually last 30 days.
- Imidacloprid and permethrin are topical treatments that contain insect growth regulators.
Your choice of treatment will depend on your budget and environment. If your pet is exposed to biting lice and ticks, your vet may suggest a topical treatment, but this isn’t always ideal for heavy coats. It’s best to discuss these factors with your vet.
Flea & Tick Prevention Tips
Although preventative treatment is the best way to keep your pet safe from fleas and ticks through spring and summer, there are other things you can do to help keep parasites at bay:
- Make sure all pets are treated: It’s vital to ensure all pets in your household are on flea and tick medication (even if they don’t go outside). Untreated pets can act as a flea buffet.
- Keeping pets indoors when possible: Pets that roam outside are at a much higher risk for contracting fleas and ticks, so limiting time outdoors will also limit exposure. Of course, we understand some pets love spending time outdoors, so we recommend thoroughly checking your pet regularly if they spend a lot of time outside.
- Routine flea & tick inspections: Speaking of checking your cat or dog, we recommend examining your pet’s skin and fur at least once a day for any fleas, flea dirt, or ticks. You can also look for areas of excessive dandruff, dermatitis, and other skin abnormalities. If you find any signs of fleas or ticks, call us immediately.
The Dangers of Parasites
Ticks and fleas are more than just benign irritants. They carry microbes and diseases, including:
- Lyme Disease
- Tick-borne relapsing fever
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Flea allergy dermatitis
If ticks and fleas are left to flourish, your pup’s skin will become red and irritated. Coat loss and allergies could follow. Remember that ticks and fleas bite humans, too. Your family could develop symptoms if your home gets infested.
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Get Flea & Tick Medication
Protecting your furry companion from fleas and ticks also reduces the risk of additional parasites making your pet ill. Make sure your cat or dog is up to date on all their flea and tick medication by scheduling a visit with Germantown Vet.
Our veterinarians will ensure your pets get the correct treatment for their size and lifestyle. We’ll support your tick and flea program with routine inspections and regular preventative action. Let’s make sure your pets can enjoy the summer carefree.
FAQs About Flea Control
Can fleas lead to other problems?
Fleas can cause more health issues for your pet than just itchy skin and bites. They can also cause tapeworms and parasites. As they feed off your pet, they can transfer these pests, causing digestive and other health problems.
Once you get rid of the fleas, you can treat the other symptoms they’ve caused. Controlling fleas is one of the best ways to ensure your cat or dog stays healthy.
Should I treat my indoor cat for fleas?
Yes. Fleas can get into your home in a variety of ways. If one or two fleas make your pet their host, they’ll begin to multiply. Before long, they’ll outgrow your pet and start looking for other hosts in your home, including you and your family. The best way to prevent this is to protect your dog, cat, or other pets from fleas and ticks.
What if my pet has a skin condition?
Sometimes a skin condition has an underlying cause you may not expect. Your cat may be allergic to fleas or the parasites they carry. You may not see fleas on your cat, but if they’re bitten by one or two, it may be enough to cause an allergic reaction.
If your cat or dog isn’t on any type of flea control, schedule an appointment with Germantown Vet to start regular, preventative treatments. During your visit, our staff will discuss your concerns regarding your pet’s skin sensitivity or condition and recommend a flea and tick treatment ideal for them.
Can I prevent fleas from coming in my house?
Fleas will always get into your home. The key is making it an unpleasant experience. Using flea control for your pets and cleaning your home thoroughly and regularly will prevent fleas from thriving in your home.
Keep your pet clean and follow your veterinarian’s care and wellness tips. Stopping them from getting into your home is much easier than getting rid of them.
Can kittens be treated for fleas?
In most cases, yes. Your vet will advise you when it’s safe to start treating your kittens. Depending on their health and well-being, your vet may be able to treat them as early as eight to 12 weeks. Following your veterinarian’s advice will ensure your pets remain healthy and active.
If you have questions or concerns about flea control, call 240-252-7467 to talk to the professionals at Germantown Vet.
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