Flea and Tick Awareness

Being Aware of Fleas and Ticks this Spring

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If you haven’t already, now is the time for flea and tick preventatives for your pets.

“Anytime that the temperature is above 40 degrees, ticks become more active. We can absolutely have them all year round, but the biggest time we see them is when the weather gets warm which is right now,” Lisa Juten, a Veterinarian at Duluth Veterinary Hospital said.

And it’s only gotten easier over the years to help prevent these pests.

“There are topicals we can use that we put directly on our pet and some of those topicals have a repellent on them,” Juten explained.

Veterinarians are getting new medications that animals can take orally.

“It’s a once a month, once every couple month pill that, instead of putting the topical on our pet we can give it to them as a treat,” she said.

Collars are also another option for pet owners.

Juten said the best thing to do is talk with your veterinarian about what specific product would work well for this situation.

And just because your pet stays in the back yard doesn’t mean they can’t get ticks.

“Any dog can get it. We have had dogs from little toy poodles that barely leave the yard have Lymes to dogs that are active in the woods and hunting,” Juten explained.

Look for signs that your pet is showing signs tick borne illness. One main sign is shifting joint pain.

She says one day they’re limping on a front leg, and the next day it’s a back leg.

The majority of tick preventatives also have preventatives for fleas, and fleas can be quite difficult to take care of.

“Not only are we treating the pet that has the fleas, but now you’re treating every pet in the house, and then you’re treating the environment, that’s vacuuming, putting chemicals in the house that’s cleaning a couple times a week doing laundry,” Juten said.

There is no set month to get your flea and tick preventatives, it all deals with the weather.

Juten said, “whenever we get a good thaw and a good freeze is when the tick season is over. But we have such weird weather that it can thaw and it can freeze and so we have it on now until the snow falls is when you need to keep preventing against ticks.”