Flea and Tick Control
How can I tell if my pet has fleas?
Fleas are tiny six-legged insects that feed on your pet’s blood and can spread disease. They can be difficult to spot, but the signs are there:
- Repeated scratching or biting
- Fur loss
- Flea dirt (looks like black pepper on their skin)
Fleas tend to stay on your pet’s skin only to feed, then jump off again once they are full. Dogs and catsalso have a natural allergic reaction to flea saliva known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis (or FAD) which often requires attention from a WA vet.
How can I tell if my pet has ticks?
Ticks, like fleas, feed on your pet’s blood and can spread disease – humans can also catch ticks, which makes these eight-legged parasites more concerning.
Thankfully paralysis ticks are very rarely found outside the east coast, which makes tick paralysis less troubling for WA vets and pet owners. Still, there are about 75 varieties of ticks (mostly living outdoors) that can cause uncomfortable and worrying symptoms:
- Wobbly walk
- Difficulty eating
- Lump and inflammation
- Scratching and biting
- Localised pain
If you suspect your pet has a tick, take them to a vet immediately. While paralysis is uncommon in WA, ticks can carry all manner of disease and pose serious health risks to small animals.
Flea and tick control methods
There are many flea and tick control products available to pet owners, including chews, topical treatments, and spot treatments. They can be applied monthly, 3-monthly or 6-monthly.
The best way to ensure you are using a trusted, effective flea or tick treatment is to consult an experienced WA vet at Epsom Avenue Veterinary Clinic. We can give you tailored advice on the best products and application methods for your pets.
Only a small percentage of the fleas in your home environment live on your animal’s skin. The rest lay dormant in fabric, furniture, carpet or the garden until your pet walks past. Keep an eye out for fleas in the home, and make sure to regularly clean anywhere your pet sits or sleeps:
- Wash all bedding in hot water
- Look for ‘flea dirt’ around the edges of cushions
- Regularly vacuum carpet and soft furnishings
Some over-the-counter dog flea treatments are potentially lethal for cats. Always consult your vet before using a new product.
Ticks mostly live outdoors, but can occasionally venture inside in search of a meal. Be vigilant when taking your dog for walks in bushland areas – even around your suburb – and always check for ticks before entering your car or home.
These products also come in a variety of applications, ie monthly chews, three monthly chews, monthly liquid top spot, three monthly top spot, six monthly top spot. This is why it is very important to know the product you are giving and the frequency it is required. If you have any questions about the product you are using and what it protects against, we are more than happy to discuss with you.
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See you and your furry friend soon!