We are right in the middle of flea and tick season here in Pittsburgh, so it is a good time to remind everyone about safe flea and tick prevention for your pets. It is important to protect your pet from these parasites because there are several diseases they can transmit from animals to people, such as Lyme disease and plague. Here is some information our veterinarian hospital would like you to know about pet care and preventing ticks and fleas.
Preventing Ticks & Fleas in Young Animals
There are a lot of over-the-counter medications that can be used on pets to prevent fleas and ticks. However, these products are only safe for use in adult pets. If you have a young puppy or kitten, going through their pelt with a flea comb is the best way to get rid of these nasty parasites, and regularly bathing them with soap and water.
Preventing Ticks & Fleas in Your Adult Pet
Flea collars are one preventive method that you can use for your dog or cat. If you want to administer medication to them, there are two types to choose from: Oral and topical. Oral preventive medicine can be added to your pet's food, while a topical solution is usually applied to their coat on the back of the neck.
Here are some important things to consider when you evaluate any flea or tick preventive medicine:
- Dogs and cats are different species. Never give a flea or tick medicine intended for a cat to your dog (or vice versa).
- The size of the dose you administer to your pet is important, so read the label of any medication carefully before administering it. Giving a large dose of medication to a small-breed dog, for example, could have extremely negative effects.
- If you use a topical pesticide on your pet, make sure the product is registered with the FDA. Likewise, with medications, make sure they are FDA-approved.
- Monitor your pet closely after administering any flea or tick preventive medication. Every animal is different, so even if you have used a flea or tick medicine successfully on one pet in the past, it does not mean that a different pet will react the same way to the same medication.
- Signs of allergic reactions that you should watch for include vomiting, excessive itching or scratching, anxiousness, swelling, or a reddening of the skin near the application site. Call our animal hospital immediately if your pet has an allergic reaction to flea or tick medication!
Contact Us in Pittsburgh for More Flea & Tick Prevention
If you have any questions before giving your pet flea and tick medication, ask a vet! Some exotic pet species are also at risk from fleas and ticks. No matter what type of pet you have, a veterinarian at city vets will be happy to assist you in discussing flea and tick prevention methods. We can also administer medications safely to your pet during a wellness exam. Contact City Vets in Pittsburgh at (412) 483-1700 to schedule an appointment.