LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV) - Central Arkansas seems to have more fleas and ticks than ever this year, and ordinary medications just don't seem to work against these little blood-suckers.
A mild winter, quite a bit of rain, heat and humidity are helping the insects thrive. Your pet can be loveable and fun, but also a target for fleas and ticks.
To prevent an infestation, veterinarians like Dr. Bob Hale at Briarwood Animal Hospital recommend keeping your pet on flea and tick meds year-round.
"Just do it routinely," he said. "They work, they're safe, they're good medications and you don't have to have a problem in your house."
He prescribes these preventive medications all day, but there are determined fleas that don't always respond to topical drugs anymore.
"The topical's that use Fipronil are still working pretty good, but we have seen some resistance to the Fipronils," he explained. "So, now we're recommending products like Comfortis, which is a pill for dogs and cats. Works really, really well for fleas, but doesn't do anything for ticks."
He recommended going with a chewable medication that protects dogs and cats from both fleas and ticks.
"It's out there on the epidermis of the skin where the fleas and ticks are and they pick up the insecticide and that's what kills them," he said.
Dr. Hale also recommended that pet owners spray their yard, especially to kill off deer ticks that can carry Lyme disease.
And if you do spot a tick on your pet, Dr. Hale said there's a proper way to remove it
"If you'll take Vaseline or oil and coat the tick and come back 10 minutes later and not leave the head in the skin," he explained.
Dr. Hale said there is a Lyme disease vaccination for dogs, but he only recommends it for pet owners who take their dogs into wooded areas.