Flea and Tick Season: What You Need to Know

It’s that time of year again. Troublesome fleas and ticks are back. Aptly named, these parasites are a nuisance at best, life threatening at worst, so it’s important for owners to know the symptoms of a flea or tick infestation and take preventative action. 

Infestation Treatment

Flea and tick infestations have long lasting and uncomfortable symptoms. Clinical signs associated with fleas and tick-borne disease in cats and dogs can vary significantly depending on the problem, but often include:
  • Redness of the skin
  • Itchiness
  • Excessive grooming
  • Fever
  • Bruising or redness on the skin
  • Anemia
If you do find fleas, flea dirt, or ticks on your pet, contact your veterinarian, as there are certain medications that can kill fleas immediately that can be used for infested cats or dogs. You can remove the tick from your pet, but keep an eye out for any signs of disease. 

It is especially important to note that directions should be followed carefully for flea and tick products. Many dog products contain drugs that can be extremely harmful for and even fatal to cats, so never use a product labeled for a dog on your cat or vice versa.

Preventing Those Parasites

Because fleas and ticks cause so many diseases and problems in cats and dogs, flea and tick preventative medication is especially important. There are so many flea and tick products on the market, it is best to visit your veterinarian to discuss your cat or dog’s lifestyle and any health considerations to make the best recommendation for your individual pet.

Flea and tick preventative medications can come in multiple forms, including topical medications, oral medications, shampoos and collars. Veterinarians commonly recommend topical medications and pills because they are more effective than collars.  Shampoos may be used when there is a current flea infestation. Pets that swim or are bathed frequently may benefit more from oral medication to avoid the medication washing off before it can work. Many cat owners will choose topical products so they do not have to administer a pill to their cat on a regular basis. Medications should be used regularly as directed by your veterinarian, and should be used all year long to avoid problems.

Remember that only your veterinarian can perform testing to properly identify, diagnose, and prescribe the best treatment plan to manage and prevent disease associated with fleas and ticks for your dog or cat.

To learn more about how Royal Canin products can support veterinary recommendations, click here