Fleas and ticks aren’t just a nuisance for dogs and cats; they can cause serious harm. In fact, a flea infestation can cause anemia and allergic reactions, as well as tapeworm infections and other diseases. Similarly, ticks can transmit diseases, including Lyme disease. Fortunately, there are multiple methods of protecting your pet from these pests. Talk to your veterinarian about a flea and tick medication that’s right for your pet. Here’s a look at how they work.
Liquid medications, or spot treatments, are applied directly to the pet’s skin. Always follow the product’s directions, which will usually instruct you to apply the medication to the base of the neck or along the spine. Topical medications need to be reapplied periodically for continuous protection. They work by inserting a chemical compound into the oil glands of the skin. These oil glands then spread the compound throughout the skin. The compound works by attacking the central nervous system of fleas and ticks, preventing them from sucking blood from the animal. Some topical applications are also capable of targeting flea and tick eggs in order to prevent new infestations.
Medicated collars tend to last much longer than topical applications—about seven to eight months. Some medicated collars work by repelling fleas and ticks. They release a compound that is unpleasant to these parasites. Other medicated collars both repel fleas and ticks, and treat existing infestations. Similar to topical drugs, a medicated collar that can kill existing fleas and ticks works by releasing a chemical compound into the pet’s oil glands.
Oral pills are medications that the animal must swallow. Currently, there are only oral pills available to treat fleas, but not ticks. This means you must use another medication to prevent tick infestations along with the oral pill for fleas. Oral pills work in different ways, depending on the specific brand and medication. Some of them kill adult fleas, while others kill flea larvae or prevent fleas from laying eggs.
The veterinarians at Horizon Animal Hospital encourage pet parents to talk to our team about flea and tick medications for their cat or dog. We can fill your prescriptions at our onsite pharmacy for your convenience. Reach out to us in Scottsdale by calling (480) 800-4559.