If you live in Idaho, fleas and ticks are going to become more present with the weather warming up. This means, as pet owners, it’s time to start your preventive measures for your dogs and cats to keep them safe from the diseases these insects spread. Some pet owners choose to do year-round treatment, but some stop during winter months since most fleas and ticks won’t survive. It is recommended to do year-round prevention just to be cautious because it is easier to prevent than it is to treat tick borne-diseases or flea infestations.
Ticks transmit not only Lyme disease, but also other illnesses like babesiosis (a malaria-like disease), ehrlichiosis (a bacterial infection), and even tick paralysis. There are more than 200 species of fleas affecting dogs, and these can also transmit disease. Although at this time North Idaho isn’t seeing many cases of disease from ticks and fleas, they will likely be more common in our area in the years to come.
Fleas are parasites that survive by ingesting the blood of hosts like cats, dogs, and humans. The head is surrounded by sharp spikes and mouths can pierce through a host’s skin and suck their blood. Fleas cause discomfort, constant scratching and flea allergy dermatitis. Fleas do not live their entire life cycle on an animal, so, once established, a flea infestation can take months to resolve.
You can find flea and tick prevention at your veterinarian’s office with a prescription, local pet store or online store. There are multiple options: topical products, chewable tabs or collars. These range in treatment length from one month up to eight months. You can decide what option works best for your pet and your lifestyle.
(What’s Your State’s Flea-and-Tick Season? – American Kennel Club. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/whats-your-states-flea-and-tick-season/)