You go to snuggle a furry patient, only to be greeted by dozens of fleas bouncing off of Fido in every direction. Naturally, you’ll want to control and put a stop to their feasting, as these nasty little bloodsuckers can spread terrible diseases.

Ready to say “Be gone” to these minuscule vampires? Below, find flea and tick prevention tips for your veterinary medicine practice.

Understanding Fleas and Ticks

Fleas: Characteristics and Risks

Flea infestations begin when an adult flea hops on a dog or other mammal to feed. Once the greedy flea has filled its belly, it lays eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae, which then transform into pupae that form cocoons. Adults emerge from the cocoons after a few weeks.

Flea bites can cause skin irritation, murine typhus, cat scratch disease, and even plague.

Ticks: Characteristics and Risks

Ticks go through four lifecycle stages: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. Ticks find hosts and food by detecting movement, body heat, and breath from an unlucky victim. Once ticks find suitable hosts, such as dogs or cats, they attach themselves to the host’s skin and feed on its blood.

Ticks are most infamous for causing Lyme disease. They’re also responsible for Rocky Mountain spotted fever and heartland virus.

The Importance of Flea and Tick Prevention

Health Implications for Pets and Owners

Both fleas and ticks can cause a host of health problems for both pets and their owners. If an infestation is severe, animals can develop anemia due to blood loss. Their skin may become raw and painful from constant itching.

Fleas and ticks can also spread various diseases. Some of these include Lyme, soft tick relapsing fever, and anaplasmosis.

Economic Impact

It’s far cheaper to prevent fleas and ticks than it is to get rid of them. An exterminator may charge $100 per hour or more to treat an infested practice. Preventative medications, on the other hand, are much more wallet-friendly.

Methods of Flea and Tick Prevention

Environmental Control

To keep fleas and ticks at bay, use a flea comb to brush dogs and other pets regularly. Wash pet bedding in hot, soapy water. Vacuum underneath furniture and other places they may hide. When done vacuuming, dispose of the debris outside in a tightly sealed bag.

Outdoors, keep your lawn’s grass mowed to a reasonable height. This discourages ticks, which prefer dense vegetation. Also, wear long socks and full-toed shoes to protect yourself from pests in wooded areas.

Veterinary Flea Treatments

When you visit your veterinarian or pet market to purchase flea and tick treatment, you might be overwhelmed by the many products on offer. Options for your dog or other animal include:

  • Flea collars: A flea collar discourages fleas from setting up shop on your pet. However, effectiveness can vary greatly, and a flea collar can have an unpleasant chemical smell.
  • Topical treatments: These treatments usually include permethrin or other pesticides that kill fleas and eggs. Used regularly, they provide year-round prevention, but some pets experience rashes at the application site. Certain dogs and cats are at higher risk for a reaction than others.
  • Oral treatments: Oral treatments are effective, but many only kill adult fleas. Additionally, some work for just a few days (most topical treatments, comparatively, last for a month).

Flea and Tick Medicine

You can buy flea and tick prevention medication from your vet, online, or at your local pet store. Over-the-counter medicines are very effective, but if you have a bad infestation, your vet might offer flea and tick preventatives with stronger active ingredients that provide additional protection.

Popular medicines for dogs and cats include:

  • Capstar
  • Revolution
  • Frontline
  • Advantage
  • Bravecto
  • NexGard

Best Practices for Veterinary Clinics

Client Education

At each appointment, take the time to talk to clients about flea and tick prevention. Teach them how to check their dog for fleas, ticks, and mites. You should also suggest flea and tick preventatives, such as Advantage or Frontline.

Integrating Prevention Into Routine Care

Check each dog and cat for bloodsucking pests at every visit. If you find fleas or ticks, suggest several treatment options at a variety of price points.

Weave Solutions for Veterinary Practices

Integration of Weave Products

Are your clients regularly forgetting to give their dogs flea medication? Try Weave. You can use Weave to remind clients it’s time for their next dose.

Benefits for Medical Practices

Weave enables you to streamline payments for flea and tick preventatives. You’ll also love the appointment reminders, online scheduling, and review management features.

Weave: A Perfect Partner for Today’s Veterinarian

Flea and tick prevention is a must for healthy, happy dogs and cats at your practice. Want to get a leg up on your competition? If so, Weave is for you. Grab your free demo of Weave now to see how it works.


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