Jun 24 2014

Flea & Tick Control – Many Choices

flea

Ticks and Fleas can harm our pet’s health by infecting them with potential deadly diseases. Ticks spread Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis. Fleas infests pets with tapeworm.

There are numerous types of ticks, but most commonly known to spread diseases are the Deer tick (Lyme), American dog tick (Rocky Mountain spotted fever), Brown dog tick (Ehrlichiosis), and the Lone Star tick (Ehrlichiosis). Common fleas in the Macomb area are the Sand, dog, and cat flea.

There are numerous preventatives on the market, how does one choose the correct product for your pet? Most importantly which ones are safe. Most major pet health companies manufacture their own line of flea and tick preventions and more being launched every year, how can I expect my clients to decide which one they should use?

Every year sales representatives bombard me up with data on their products, comparing theirs to the competition and  claiming their products are better. It takes time to carefully go through all the data to find out what each product contains, how it is utilized by the pet, how effective it is at preventing and killing the parasite and the cost.

The data which I spend the most time on is the company’s research studies and how many studies were actually done on their product. Also, how many animals were used in the study and what  data does this company have to back up their claim.

Not all flea and tick products are the same. Some tick products can not be used on cats and others can not be used on dogs under 6 months of age. Not all tick products are effective against the four common ticks listed above. Flea products are just as confusing! There are those which kill adult fleas only, some kill larva stages and adult fleas, while others just sterilize the flea eggs!

There is the choice of using topical verses oral products. Most of the topical products absorb into the pet’s fat layer of their skin, allowing the product to be effective even if the pet goes swimming. However, in the fine print it does state the pet should not be bathed with a detergent shampoo in between treatments. ( Who reads the fine print?)

It is truly a buyer beware where it comes to these products. Unfortunately, most people just purchase the cheapest product without considering the effectiveness or what the product actually does. When their pet becomes infested, they wonder why the product failed. There are just too many products on the market. I spend most of my exam time with clients explaining the differences between flea and tick preventions.

I only recommend products that I personally use on my own pets. As new products or medications become available, I research them thoroughly prior to purchasing them for my hospitals. I do have to consider cost, but that is NOT the determining factor for purchasing or recommending the products for my patients. Safety and effectiveness are the determining factors.

So, if you are concerned about what flea and tick product to use, call or come into Pets Ahoy Animal Hospital and we will discuss which one would be the right one for your pet.

From the Other Side of the Exam Table,
Dr. Gloria Williams

gwilliams | cats, Dogs, parasites, Pet Health

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