When it comes to keeping your four-legged friends healthy, our team here at Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert believes that flea and tick prevention for dogs should be at the top of the list. Fleas and ticks can cause itching, hair loss and skin infections, and can even transmit diseases. Fleas and ticks are everywhere, but the proper preventative measures will help keep your dog as healthy and happy as possible.
Fleas are the most common external parasite that affect dogs. They can live anywhere from 13 days to 12 months, and they can produce millions of offspring during their lifespan. They thrive in warm, humid climates at temperatures of 65 to 80 degrees. Fleas are usually found on the dog’s abdomen and at the base of the head and tail. If your dog has fleas, you’ll need to talk to your vet here at Anasazi Animal Clinic. Signs and symptoms of fleas on dogs are:
- Droppings in the dog’s coat (this may look like dark grains of sand)
- Flea eggs (tiny, white grains)
- Allergic dermatitis
- Excessive scratching, licking or biting at skin
- Hair loss
- Scabs and hot spots
- Pale gums
Ticks tend to be most active in late spring and summer and live in tall brush or grass, where they can attach to a host, such as a dog. Most species of ticks survive by burying their head into a host’s skin and consuming its blood. They prefer to attach close to the head, neck, ears and feet, but can be found anywhere on your dog’s body. Ticks are most prevalent in warm climates and certain wooded areas of the Northeast. They are rare in Arizona, but we do have them! Click here for symptoms related to ticks.
Most ticks are visible to the naked eye, but you’ll have to do a thorough examination since they can hide in your dog’s fur. This is especially important if you travel with your dog to an area where ticks are more common. If you do find a tick on your dog, be sure to carefully follow the instructions in this link to remove it. There are a number of infections that can be transmitted to your dog through tick bites, so early removal is key. They include:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
This map shows which tick-borne infections are most common in different areas of the United States.
Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs
While fleas and ticks can cause serious problems, the good news is, they are entirely preventable! Our online pharmacy carries a wide variety of options for flea and tick prevention for dogs. Keep in mind, it is always best to discuss with us which option and dosage is right for your dog before choosing one. And never administer prevention measures to your dog that are intended for cats, as this can cause serious health problems. At Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert, we believe prevention is the best medicine for fleas and ticks, so be sure to ask us about it at your next visit!