Fleas are parasites that commonly affect dogsin the Naples/Bonita Springs area – from rural areas of Golden Gate to more urban Estero developments. Fleas are about 1-2 mm in length and feed on the blood of dogs and other mammals. Upon close examination of your dog, you may identify small black insects running through their coat. They are most commonly seen on the base of a dog’s tail (the rump area), and, in addition to causing extreme itchiness, can also produce secondary skin infections as well as transmit diseases.
One female flea can lay up to an astonishing 40 eggs per day. Therefore, environmental contamination of your home can happen very quickly as these eggs drop off of the dog and into rugs, furniture, and other cracks and crevices throughout the house. These eggs will eventually develop into larvae and then adult fleas. When adult fleas are identified on your dog, it is vitalthat all the dogs and cats in the home be treated with flea prevention. Indoor flea sprays are also often necessary to kill the other emerging stages of the fleas’ lifecycle, such as the eggs and larvae.
We are fortunate that tick-borne diseases are not as rampant in Naples as other parts of the country. That said, when they occur, tick infestations can be very serious. Adult ticks resemble a smooth wart or blood blister that attaches itself to the dog’s skin when feeding. The attached tick can cause localized irritation and swelling, and ultimately has the potential to spread life threatening diseases. Tick exposure can be minimized by keeping your dog out of heavily wooded areas and the underbrush of bushes, regularly running your hands through their coat, and checking in between their toes and in the folds of their ears. Having your dog on oral or topical tick prevention is the most important way that you can minimize your dog’s exposure to tick-borne diseases.
At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we offer a variety of options to prevent and treat dog flea and tick infestation, as well as preventative carefor and management of many other diseases and issues, including cat flea and tick infestation and canine heartworm disease.