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Lupin's Life - The Dirt on Fleas and Ticks

Lupin's Life - The Dirt on Fleas and Ticks

Hi there!  It’s Lupin, and I decided to try my hand (or paw, as it were) at this blogging thing.  Mom did a pretty good job with the first post, but I figured if the blog is going to be called “Lupin’s Life”, the least I could do is write it myself!

flea tick NO
Today, I want to talk about a serious topic, which is flea and tick control. Now, I’m pretty lucky, because I’ve only ever had one tick and have never met a flea. But, my dad the vet, told me some of the scary stuff these tiny little bugs can cause!  

First of all, fleas can be quite a nuisance.  They get down under your hair and bite - how rude!  I’m told it makes you itch all over, and some dogs will even itch so bad that they scratch and chew at themselves until they bleed!  Ouch!  But that’s not all - some fleas contain parasites, which can mess up an animal's red blood cells.  I’m not sure what that means, but dad says it can make dogs and cats really sick!  Also, fleas actually suck blood when they bite (like tiny little vampires!) and with all the blood they suck, they can cause something called anemia, which makes dogs or cats very weak and sick.  This is especially dangerous for young puppies and kittens!itching dogs and cats w fleas2

tick blue back 3
As bad as that sounds, ticks are apparently even worse.  They don’t make dogs itch as much as fleas do, but they can carry a lot of bad diseases.  One of these diseases is called Lyme Disease.  If it is anywhere near as gross as that fruit called a lime, keep it away from me!  Dad says Lyme disease used to only be in certain parts of the country, but it has gradually spread all over, including right here in North Carolina.  There are other diseases that these ticks carry that can cause weakness, lethargy, joint pain, and decreased appetite.  You pet parents keep an eye out for these signs in your babies.  A lot of people mistake these changes for “old age” when it’s really not. 

Some of these tick diseases can be found on certain blood tests.  Some animal hospitals, like my dad’s, run a screening test for some of the more common tick diseases every year with my heartworm test.  If a dog is really sick, there is a bigger (and I’m told much more expensive, but what do us dogs care about that – it’s not like we have to work!) blood panel that can be sent to a lab.  No, not the black lab at the neighbor’s house, a laboratory!

The good news is there are a lot of good products out there to help keep these bad bugs away.  There are some medications that are topical liquids that go on the skin, that form some kind of invisible barrier against fleas and ticks.  I’m not sure how that works, but it’s kind of cool to think I have my own invisible force field!
lupin force field

There are also oral products I can take just like a treat - YUM!  There is even one that lasts 3 months, so my mom and dad don’t have to remember to give it to me quite as often.  These products are very safe for us dogs, but you do need to be careful with some of the topical products around cats and children.   Now, between you and me, I don’t really care about the cats so much (one of our cats likes to beat me up), but I wouldn’t want anything to happen to the kids in my house!  So talk to your vet about which products are right for everyone in your household.  Also, one other thing I hear my dad say all the time is that these products should be used year-round.  It doesn’t quite get cold enough around here for long enough periods of time to kill all these bugs off over the winter – so no slacking off, you humans!flea tick prods

Well, that’s about all I have to say about that.  Remember to keep your dogs and cats on flea and tick prevention!  Lupin out!Loopen signature


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