Sunday, April 17, 2016

Here comes the Sun (and bugs)

Yesterday as my husband and I came home from Sam's club with our car load of giant size containers of "essential" items.  I walked into my kitchen to a small army of ants parading around my kitchen stove. Ah, spring!   I immediately grabbed my two cats, who were incidentally not helping to catch the invaders, and ran them into the laundry room, so I could spray some ant spray along the kitchen baseboards without poisoning the lazy, bug adverse creatures.  As I was cleaning up the ant mess and relocating them out of my house I thought, wouldn't it be great to have something that I could spot on my house once per month to keep all the bugs out, like we do with our dogs and cats? That got me thinking about a blog on flea and tick control.   Weird right?

I am not a big fan of bugs as a general rule, so any way I can prevent them from getting into my house, or on my pets is supremely important to me.  In our area of the country we have the most problems with fleas and ticks starting as soon as the weather warms above 45 degrees.  That is when the ticks first wake up and start feeding on us and our pets, and those little buggers spread diseases like Lyme disease.  Fleas like it a little warmer but they can stay with us year round if they get indoors for the winter.  

There is a vast array of flea and tick products for dogs and cats, enough to make veterinary professionals heads spin. We have spot-ons and sprays, pills and collars and hundreds of different brands. To make things even more complicated the industry introduces new products each year and there is not one that is considered best.

I like the chewable tablets (NexGard) because they are easy to use and not as messy as the topical spot-on products.  (and my dog Trent loves his NexGard chew).  That being said, some dogs won’t eat them, others have food allergies,  some have medical conditions that are contraindicated with certain oral preventives, and cats can not take them.  For those dogs that can't take NexGard or for our cat friends, I prefer Frontline and Revolution.  Two products that we have been using safely for years at WWVH.

Families with cats also need to be careful with over the counter tick prevention products for dogs, as some of them contain ingredients that are toxic to felines and are not recommended if your cat grooms your dog or likes to cuddle with them.

Here in Michigan I like to keep the flea and tick medications going all year round.   There are many choices, and no real right or wrong product, but do not ignore your pet's needs.  If you do, the bugs will be marching around your house soon and bringing their diseases with them. 

It's Spring! If you haven't started your pets on their Flea and Tick prevention yet, do it now.  We have coupons and specials to help you get quality products and save some money, so call us at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital to stock up for your pet's summer.  One of our technicians would be happy to advise you on the proper product for your furry family member.    586-751-3350