Safety Tips For Using Flea And Tick Products On Pet
By John Morgan | Dated November 15, 2017
Flea and Tick Prevention: Safety Tips for Using Products
Did you know that a female flea will lay at least 20 eggs a day which can lead to about 20,000 new fleas in less than 2 months? It’s no wonder they spread so fast and can be so hard to control!
Did you also know that the paralysis tick in Eastern Australia, including the North Shore, can cause signs of paralysis after 3 days of attachment? Read more about this condition at our page on signs of tick paralysis.
Flea and tick prevention is an integral part of ensuring the well being of your pets, although, it can be one of the less enjoyable activities for everyone involved. Maintaining some form of flea and tick prevention, especially during the warmer seasons, is even more important. Fleas and ticks are out in full force and infestations can occur quickly.
Flea and Tick Treatments
While there is a broad range of tick and flea products on the market, only are a few are effective for stopping ticks and fleas, or treating affected pets if it’s already a little too late:
- Spot-On and Topical Treatments – a small amount of liquid placed directly onto the skin such as Advantix (dogs only) or Frontline. Full body sprays such as Frontline are also available but not always as easy to apply.
- Flea Bombs and Sprays – for small infestations in the home, letting off a flea bomb is an easy way to treat large areas. It will mean both you and your pets will need to vacate the premises while the bomb does its thing, as well as a good clean of your surfaces afterwards. These are effective at reducing the population of fleas in the household environment.
- Oral Chewables – Nexgard and Bravecto are newer generation flea and tick products for dogs that are palatable and highly effective at preventing tick paralysis. It is important to note that you will find ticks on dogs’ coats while using these products as ticks need to attach before they get a dose of the drug.
- Shampoos and Dips – another maintenance or prevention technique, it’s also an easy way to keep your pet groomed and treat fleas and ticks at the same time. These should not be performed within 3 days of the application of a topical flea and tick preventative such as Advantix or Frontline as they can reduce the effectiveness of these products.
- Manual Removal – Please be advised that no topical or oral preventative for ticks is full effective and while searching the coat for fleas is generally ineffective, regular tick searches are gold standard for preventing paralysis in our furry friends. Manual removal of fleas is not recommended as it is difficult and unlikely to control the problem.
Safety Tips When Using Flea and Tick Products
Even though a lot of flea and tick control products can be purchased over the counter you should check with your vet before using then. These products are often not only ineffective but could be harmful to your pet.
If you chose to use chemicals, sprays or topical products for flea and tick control make sure that you:
- Read the instructions and follow them carefully.
- Do not use dog products on cats or cat products on dogs, a few drops of some spot-on treatments designed for dogs can be fatal to a cat.
- Only use the amount suggested for the size of your pet. A higher volume will not resolve a flea or tick issue faster.
- Don’t use multiple products e.g. flea powders as well as spot-on products. This may cause reactions or overdose symptoms.
- If you have multiple pets, keep them separate when applying spray or spot-on treatments to stop them grooming each other and swallowing the chemicals
- After every application, watch your pet for signs of an allergic reaction. Call your vet if your pet displays symptoms such as:
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Overproduction of saliva or mucus
- Lack of appetite
- Seizuring or tremoring
It’s also important to protect yourself when using flea and tick products on your pet. Wear gloves, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
Flea and Tick Prevention at Gordon Vet Hospital
Call Gordon Vet Hospital on (02) 9498 3000 if you have questions about flea and tick products. Our emergency department is conveniently open 24/7 for any urgent cases, and our pet ambulance is always on call if you need immediate help.