sept11-hound1-300x225So, it is finally Spring!  As the temperature warms up, all of our parasite friends will be back to doing what they do best, infest our pets. In our two previous posts, we explained why fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance, but a risk to the health of all members of our families. So, how do we keep these pests away?

It’s A Year Round Job

First of all, most patients need protection year round in our area.  Our winters usually do not get cold enough long enough to eradicate all parasites.  Just one or two warm winter days are enough to encourage fleas and ticks to hatch out and jump on the nearest dog or cat.

Which To Use?

As you know, there are MANY products out there claiming to prevent fleas and ticks.  Pet owners are bombarded with choices.  Over the last several years, many of the products we have historically relied on appear to have become less effective, but they are still marketed heavily.  At Midlothian Animal Clinic, we have taken a long, hard look at our patient’s needs, and matched them with the products we believe are most effective and safe. I will detail our favorite products, but bear in mind that every patient is slightly different.  Please call us, we can help you find the best product for your pet’s needs.

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For The Dogs

Most of our dog friends need protection from fleas and ticks. At our clinic, we use Vectra.  It not only kills fleas and ticks quickly, but also has repellant action which means the parasites may hop on and hop right off again. Vectra is applied directly to the dog’s skin monthly.  Occasionally, a patient needs flea protection only.  Comfortis is a pill that kills fleas quickly and effectively. Like Vectra, it is used monthly. Both Vectra and Comfortis are well tolerated by our patients and work really well.

cat-products-300x144For The Cats

Now, our feline friends pose a slightly different challenge.  Indoor cats can still be infested with fleas that ride in on us, or simply jump through the door.  Our outdoor kitties become exposed to all parasites.  Comfortis is available for cats who can be convinced to take a pill. Many kitties require a topical product.  We recommend three products for cats.  Easyspot is a monthly product for fleas and ticks. Revolution is our favorite for outdoor cats because it kills fleas, heartworms, gastrointestinal parasites, and ear mites, but it doesn’t kill ticks.  A new product, Seresto, kills fleas and ticks for seven months with one application. Seresto’s potential downside is that it is a collar…which outdoor kitties may lose in their travels.

As you can see, finding the right flea and tick prevention for your pet can be confusing.  Please ask us to help you find the product that best suits you and your pet.  Now that you know what to do for those pesky fleas and ticks, stay tuned- next month we will be discussing heartworms and gastrointestinal parasites!!