Let me know if this conversation sounds familiar.
“Why is Milo scratching his neck like he is the Energizer bunny?”
“Uh, I don’t know…didn’t you buy his flea medication this month?”
“You were supposed to do that!”
“Ooops, do you think he has fleas?”
“What do I look like? A vet?”
“No…. I suppose I screwed up and now Milo is being attacked like it’s Night of the Living Dead! Oh man…now I am itching!”
Or how about this one?
“Feel this “thing” on Luna’s side…. Is it? Oh man…uugh… It is a tick! Gross!!!”
“Get it off her, but don’t hurt her!”
“I’m going to be sick.”
“Don’t be such a baby!”
“Don’t you love our dog? How could you forget the tick medication… again?”
If you are single, then maybe you argue with yourself!
One thing is for sure though, no one wants to be on either side of that conversation and in the end, it is Milo and Luna that suffer the most. We all forget things in the hustle and bustle of daily life and especially in the heart of a pandemic, things get strained and overlooked.
But fleas and ticks are not giving up their mission just because our world has shifted.
So, we must be extra cautious and even more in tune to our pet’s overall health.
There is a great quote by Maya Angelou that teaches, “When you know better, you do better.” This can be attributed to anything really, but especially when we make the decision to “parent” a furry feline, or fluffy canine, forever friend. Today’s blog is meant to be a non-judgement zone so to speak, but hopefully a humorous reminder with serious intent. It encourages all of us to try and keep our cherished friends free of those nasty ailments associated with fleas and ticks…and other parasites as well! Making sure that our dogs and cats health, when it comes to fleas and ticks, is treated properly must be our true focus as loving and caring pet owners.
Some Things to Consider:
More and more of us are traveling with our pets and taking them to new and exciting destinations. As the summer continues to heat up, these travels may include warmer areas that our pets are not acclimated towards. This can lead to new encounters with other pets and different parasites.
Following this summertime traveling theme, one thing to consider for example is that blacklegged ticks no matter where they are can carry Lyme disease. Definitely not something to be taken lightly.
Another thing to look at is that fleas and ticks love to hitch a ride and they go where you and your pet go…An example of this more recently is that the Asian Longhorned tick, was transplanted to Colorado from New Jersey. Those ticks lay fertile eggs and don’t need a male to reproduce.
For fleas it can lead to other serious parasites such as tapeworms. A pet swallows a flea while grooming that is infected with tapeworm larvae. The tapeworm larvae then develop into an adult tapeworm!
Eeesh!! Scary to even think about…. This gives a new definition to the term “boom town” in both scenarios for sure. This is definitely low hanging fruit for a joke I know, but it is serious when looking at how quickly these sorts of things can spread.
We have enough to worry about already in our fast-paced lives, just trying to stay calm and get through this current global pandemic…. Taking care of our pets with a proper flea and tick solution should help minimize our frustration.
Regarding Pet Health Products:
Some of us out there may question, “Is my vet trying to sell me something? Pet ownership is already expensive enough!”
Some vets are recommending going to a quarterly flea and tick prevention instead of a monthly dosage. One option for this is a three month dose four times a year. This benefits all involved and reduces the “forgot” factor and is less likely to end in a volatile family squabble and blame game between spouses. By looking at this scenario or option, as pet owners we should save money in the long run by preventing disease and illness by a more comprehensive process and product. But of course monthly doses are still available and encouraged. We also carry a yearlong heart worm injection in our office to make it more convenient for you and safe for your pet.
Vets are some of the most caring and loving doctors out there. They truly want what’s best for the owner’s, but mainly for our beloved pet’s. Being on the same page is essential to maintain optimal health and sanity!
So, what is my responsibility? What is the vet’s responsibility?
Think of the vet, owner, pet relationship as a family or community. Everyone involved should ask questions and co-op the overall process of monthly and yearly pet care, especially when it comes to flea and tick prevention. For you the pet owner, no question is too silly or too obvious…Do not hesitate to ask! The vet can in turn ask the pet owner questions about the client’s understanding of parasites, disease, prevention, and overall health. They may assume you know these things, but maybe you don’t and that is ok if you don’t. Knowledge is power and learning should never stop for anyone involved. Things change and best practices evolve all the time in medicine and science. We are in this collectively and need to be challenging each other to be the best guardians of pet health that we can be!