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How To Treat And Prevent Flea And Tick Problems

Pet owners in Alexandria, VA know that fleas and ticks can make life miserable for your pets, and for you, too. Flea and tick prevention is an essential part of your pet's health and should be part of regular health maintenance.

Two dogs sitting on a hiking trail in Alexandria.

Fleas are an unfortunate and common pest that feed off your pets as well as their human companions. A flea infestation can seem to come out of nowhere, and once it's taken hold it isn't easy to get rid of. It's important to treat fleas and ticks immediately, as they spread illness and disease.

Checking Your Pet For Fleas And Ticks

Do this regularly, especially in the spring and summer months when they are most common. Thoroughly check your pet for ticks, especially if your pet has been in a wooded area or in tall grass or shrubs. Do a visual inspection, but also be sure to feel for bumps. When checking for fleas, keep your eyes out for "flea dirt" which shows up as black specks on the skin and in the coat.

Talk To Your Veterinarian About Preventing Flea And Tick Infestation

Your veterinarian is a wealth of information when it comes to preventing flea and tick problems. He or she will recommend a course of action that is appropriate for your pet.

There are a number of treatment options that are available for your pet including flea sprays and shampoos, an oral medication that prevents and treats fleas and ticks, topical treatments and powders.

Today, many pet owners turn to oral and topical medications that are administered monthly to keep fleas and ticks at bay. These medications are powerful and effective. Because these medications are so powerful, they aren't right for all pets. Your veterinary clinic will direct you to the treatment that is best for your pet. It's always a good idea to schedule an examination beforehand.

Handling A Flea Infestation

In order to clear your home of the fleas, you must not only treat your pet, you must also make that flea eggs and larvae have been destroyed, or you'll continue to have problems. Treat your pet with a medication that not only kills adult fleas but also eggs and larvae.

Fleas and their eggs are found in carpets, upholstery, bedding and anywhere your pet sleeps or spends time. Here are some steps you can take to clear your home of fleas:

  • Take all loose bedding, cushions, throws, etc. and wash it in hot water and dry.
  • Be sure to thoroughly vacuum all carpets and upholstery.
  • Use sprays where appropriate, taking care to follow all instructions,
  • Help control fleas outdoors by keeping shrubs and grass trimmed, and keeping stray animals out of your yard.

You may have to repeat the above steps more than once. If there are eggs or larvae left alive in your home the life cycle will continue. 

Call Our Trusted Veterinarians in Alexandria, VA Today

Find out the best flea and tick treatment for your pet to keep them safe, comfortable and healthy. Call Fort Hunt Animal Hospital today to schedule your appointment. If you are in the Alexandria area, call 703-360-6100 to learn more.

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I have been using Ft. Hunt Animal Hospital for about 30 years and have always found the doctors and staff to be very caring. I appreciate the time spent explaining specific findings and answering questions. I never feel rushed.

Alexandria, VA

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