Fleas & Ticks In Kodiak
The days of fleas only being brought to the island seem to be past us. For the last several years there have been multiple reported cases of pets (and people) picking up these nasty little hitchhikers! Both the city dog park & Ft. Abercrombie has had reports of fleas. And now there has been a recent sighting of 3 engorged ticks at Ft. Abercrombie. We believe this is due to the warm winters we have had over recent years that they can now survive on Kodiak Island.
So fleas & ticks are here, now what?
Your best protection is PREVENTION. This doesn't mean you need to stop taking your dog with you on hikes or not letting them socialize & play with other dogs.
Up close photo of a flea
Engorged ticks found at Ft. Abercrombie (May 2019)
How to tell if your dog has fleas
The Kodiak Vet Clinic carries both Frontline Plus and Advantage II, as well as Credelio, to help protect your pets against both fleas & ticks.
Frontline Plus and Advantage II are both a monthly topical treatment that you apply directly to your pet's skin, while the Credelio is a once a month chewable tablet
Frontline vs Advantage
Both of these products are a topical treatment, that you apply to your dog's skin once per month.
Differences in ingredients: the main difference is in the parasites they are effective against and how.
Advantage II kills fleas, but it does not kill ticks.
Frontline Plus kills both fleas and ticks, and kills and repels Mosquitos.
Some say Advantage isn't as 'chemically harsh' as Frontline, is often said to cause less adverse reactions and side effects and so is best for more sensitive dogs.
The downside though is in very heavy infestations, where Advantage II has often been seen to be less effective than Frontline Plus. For light to medium infestations (which is most cases to be fair), both are effective.
For a very heavy flea presence, Frontline is the best choice out of the two.
Protection against ticks and mosquitoes should also factor into your decision and if they are known to be a problem in your area, then Frontline is a better choice because Advantage II is ineffective against both.
Any Effect on Other Parasites?
Advantage II can control lice.
Frontline Plus can control lice and is also reported to help with mange.
How to Apply These treatments to Your Dog
Both are topical treatments, meaning the application is directly onto the body surface, on to the skin. They are not for internal use and must not be ingested in any way.
With your treatment of choice - Please read the instructions that come with it very carefully. I cannot stress this enough.
There's nothing to say the instructions won't change between the time I write this and the time you use the treatment. So always read and follow the instructions that come with it.
However, the general steps to apply these treatments are:
Remove your dog's collar to make things easier for yourself.
Remove all packaging, taking great care not to cut the tube in the process, and open the tube ready for application while holding it upright so as not to spill any.
With your dog standing still, part the hair on their back right up near their neck, just between the shoulder blades so you can see their skin.
Frontline Plus only: Apply the whole tube to this area of the neck directly onto the skin.
Advantage II or Advantix II: Apply the whole tube to this spot for small to medium dogs. For large and extra large dogs, apply the treatment to 3 or 4 different spots along the length of the back, from the shoulder blades to the base of the tail. This is to prevent too much in one spot that may run off down your dogs sides.
Discard the empty packaging safely so no other human or animal will come into contact with it. Wash your hands, the job is done, repeat in 30 days time.
It really couldn't be easier, however, if you have a dog that just refuses to stand still, enlist a helper to hold them steady while you apply the treatment.
DEBUNKING FIVE MYTHS ABOUT FLEAS ON DOGS AND CATS
Many pet parents feel horrified, even mortified, when they find fleas on their four-legged furry friends. And some owners are puzzled by the finding, especially if the cat is an “indoor-only” pet or the dog is treated with a monthly flea-control product. Knowing the facts about fleas can help you better understand how pets can get these hardy, annoying blood-drinkers and why your veterinarian may recommend year-round flea control.
A few fleas are no big deal.
Maybe. But it’s much more likely that you’re seeing only the tip of the iceberg. Whether you should worry depends on several factors:
How many fleas you’re finding on your dog or cat
Whether your pet has been treated previously with a flea-control product
And if your cat or dog has been treated, which product was used and when was it last applied or given.
If your pet was treated with a product that provides month-long adult flea control (and hopefully an ingredient that stops insect growth) and you’re finding five or fewer adult fleas, then you may be seeing “hitchhiker” fleas. These are fleas that your dog or cat picks up outdoors from locations frequented by other pets, stray or feral animals, or wildlife. Fleas also can hitch a ride into your home on you and your clothing, visitors whose pets may have fleas and even visiting pets.
If your pet is not already being treated with a flea-control product and you find fleas, you could have a problem, and the time to take action is now. The fleas we see on pets are adults — what we don’t see are the immature stages (eggs, larvae and pupae) that are developing in the environment.
The only pets in the home that need to be treated are those with fleas.
Not true! Especially if you want to avoid a flea infestation. (A flea infestation means adult fleas are reproducing on your pet and all of the immature flea stages are present in the environment that your pet frequents.) All pets in the home must be treated to control fleas, and you’ll want to treat the home environment as well.
Although the fleas that infest cats and dogs do not jump from one pet to another, any untreated pet can become the new home for fleas if immature fleas are present in the environment. And it’s possible that an untreated pet is the actual source of fleas. Because some pets are more sensitive to fleas than others, a pet could have fleas but not give any signs of itchiness.
Homes without carpeting cannot become infested with fleas.
Wrong. Fleas are opportunistic and their eggs, larvae, and pupae are capable of hiding just about anywhere. It’s not uncommon to find immature flea life stages in the cracks between hardwood, laminate or tile floor coverings and along baseboards. They’ll also hide in your pet’s (and your!) bedding, even within or under upholstered furniture where your pet rests.
If you treat your pet with a flea control product, you won’t see fleas on him.
False! With topically applied products, most adult fleas are killed within hours, not several seconds or minutes as some people might expect. In addition, flea-infested environments will act as a constant source of new fleas. These recently acquired fleas may be the “live” fleas you’re seeing on your treated cat or dog. The good news is that they should be dead within 24 hours or less.
Once fleas are removed from your pet, the flea problem is solved.
If only it were that simple! Your dog or cat may not have fleas after treatment, but the adult fleas found on pets are only 5 percent of the flea population in your pet’s environment. The other 95 percent are hiding as immature stages — eggs, larvae, and pupae — in the environment and still pose a risk to your pet. That’s why veterinarians recommend treating your home environment, as well as treating all pets in the home for more than one month. And depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to call an exterminator or use over-the-counter insecticides to treat your home. Ask your veterinarian for a flea-control product that kills adult fleas and keeps flea eggs and larvae from developing into adults.