Do we have fleas and ticks in Arizona?

YES! I routinely diagnose fleas and ticks on dogs and cats, usually to the complete surprise of their owners. A female flea only lives for a few months, but can produce more than 5000 eggs in her lifetime! This means that with every single flea I see on your pet, there are thousands more on your pet and in your home.

Ticks can lay dormant in homes and yards for months before finally finding a host (your pet) and feeding. Ticks carry many diseases, including Tick Fever (Ehrlichia), which causes bleeding from an inability to clot.

Do I really need to use a preventative for my pet?

YES! Just as we give vaccines to our pets to prevent dangerous diseases, we use flea and tick preventatives before disease occurs.

Can’t I just buy a preventative at the store?

Many over-the-counter preventatives are available, which can confuse pet owners. Without the input of your veterinarian, you may choose a preventative that is not only ineffective, but dangerous to your pet. I recently treated a very sweet cat who was given an over-the-counter topical preventative that made her very sick, and she was hospitalized for treatment. She did well after treatment, but this could have been a life-threatening situation. Always consult your veterinarian on what preventative is safe and effective for your pet.

For any questions on flea and tick preventative for your pet, contact us at Valley Verde Veterinarians (520-393-7387).