Battling fleas and ticks

Have you noticed your dog scratching or licking itself more frequently, especially in the armpits or around the groin? Fleas and ticks could be the cause.

As temperatures outside rise during the spring, fleas and ticks become more active. They burrow through a dog’s fur down to the skin, where they hide while biting and feeding off a dog’s blood. The bites can cause severe itching and inflammation. If you notice your dog scratching, licking or chewing on certain body parts — the areas that are warmest on a dog’s body are typically the most fertile areas for fleas — you need to check for a flea infestation. Hair loss from excessive scratching can be a sign of flea infestation as well.

To check for fleas or ticks, you need to brush through the fur and inspect the skincoat. Fleas are easier to spot because they tend to jump around. Ticks are more difficult to see because they latch onto the skin and dig in more fervently. Look for signs of redness and bumpy skin. Check your dog’s ears for redness, blood or dirt. Take a flea comb, which is specially made with a close set of teeth, and brush through the fur on your dog’s back and legs. You have to get the comb close to the skin to pull fleas and ticks from the areas they have been hiding.

To combat fleas and ticks, you should keep your dog on a year-round prevention schedule. Chewable tablets contain medicine that travels through the bloodstream and gets to the skin, killing most fleas. Most chewable tablets are given monthly throughout the year. Topical flea solutions also get into the skin. These are administered monthly with drops placed on the dog’s back between the shoulder blades. Flea collars can last for several months and are coated with a chemical meant to repel fleas.

Shampooing and grooming your dog regularly is a big factor in deterring fleas and ticks as well. HydroDog can wash your dog with a special shampoo treatment that rids them of the fleas ticks and helps to prevent them from coming back if their coat stays clean. We also suggest follow-up visits to ensure your dog is itch-free and happy!

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