We recommend year-round flea prevention* for all pets that go outdoors and all pets living with indoor/outdoor pets. In addition, you may want to consider regular flea prevention for your indoor cat, especially if you live in an apartment complex with other pets.
If you’re dealing with an infestation:
The first step is to get your pet on an effective flea treatment/preventative. We carry Advantage and Revolution for cats and K9 Advantix, Revolution (smaller sizes only), Nexgard, Simparica, and Seresto collars for dogs.
Continue to use flea prevention on your pet every 30 days for at least 6 months, and preferably year-round, to ensure that you kill every life cycle of the flea. You should also thoroughly clean your home, washing all bedding and vacuuming and/or sweep all surfaces. Dispose of any vacuum bags and take out trash containing vacuumed or swept up material immediately. Do this weekly for at least one month.
For heavy infestations, you may also want to use a premise spray, such as Siphotrol Plus II (available in-clinic), around the baseboards and floors of your home. It is best to do this one room at a time to avoid the fumes associated with spraying. Let the area sit for at least 20 minutes (until the product has dried) before entering the room again.
Find out more about fleas and treating them by visiting these websites:
Companion Animal Parasite Council
The tick of greatest concern here in the Northeast is the Deer Tick. This is the tick that carries the organism Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease. Deer Ticks are also responsible for transmitting the organisms that cause Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis. It is also one of the hardest ticks to repel and kill. Therefore, it is important to use a preventative that has proven efficacy against this particular species of tick and that it kills ticks quickly (in less than 24 hours). Examples of such products are: Nexgard, Simparica, Advantix, and Seresto collars.** Please note that we did not include Frontline(R) in this list. This is because, although it is an excellent flea control product, it takes up to 48 hours to kill many ticks, allowing ample time for disease transmission.
Believe it or not, ticks can even be a problem even in the winter! This is because they don’t die in winter, they hibernate. All it takes is one warm day and they wake up and start searching for a meal. There are a wide variety of effective tick prevention products currently available. Depending on you and your dog’s lifestyle we can help you choose whether a topical, oral product or a collar would be best for you.**
More info on tick lifecycle:
Did you know that the American Heartworm Society recommends keeping dogs on year-round heartworm preventative, even in the Northeast? This is for a few reasons:
-With weather patterns getting more and more unpredictable, it’s getting more and more difficult to know exactly when to stop and start preventatives.
-Human Nature - It’s easy to get out of the habit of giving a monthly preventative and to forget to restart them as soon as the weather gets warm, meaning there is often a gap in prevention when it is most needed.
-Most monthly heartworm preventatives also control intestinal parasites, which is very important in a dog-friendly urban area such as Jamaica Plain. The more dogs in an area, the higher the risk that intestinal parasites will be passed from dog to dog. Remember, some of these parasites can also infect people, especially children and immuno-compromised individuals.
-Some species of mosquito are able to survive inside over the winter!
We recommend an oral heartworm preventative for most dogs, but effective topicals are also available if your dog doesn’t like taking pills or chew tabs. Available In-Clinic: Sentinel (K9), Heartgard, and Revolution (for small dogs and cats) **
** Be sure to purchase your preventatives from a reputable source such as our office, our online pharmacy or other VIPPS accredited or .Pharmacy Verified online pharmacy to avoid buying counterfeit products.