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Flea and Tick Season is here!

Warmer weather brings longer walks, svelte waists, and of course ITCHING!!

Fleas: Cats and dogs can be allergic to flea saliva and develop an intense allergic reaction to flea bites called flea allergy dermatitis. This type of reaction can cause a great deal of discomfort for your pet and they will often need other medications in addition to starting preventative flea control. Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae. When your pet grooms, they may ingest the occasional flea and thereby become infected with tapeworms. Tapeworms are easily treated but have been known to lead to weight loss in some animals. Severe cases of flea infestations can potentially cause a form of anemia too, this is a serious but treatable condition if caught early.


Ticks: Ticks can also be a serious and not too uncommon problem in Western Washington. There are several tick species that we tend to see in this area, a few of them are:

  • The American Dog Tick - Responsible for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tick Paralysis
  • Deer Tick - Responsible for Lyme disease
  • Brown Dog Tick - Responsible for Ehrlichiosis (a disease that attacks the white blood cells and platelets).

We have treated a few tick borne disease cases here at Evergreen Animal Hospital


Warning Signs: Does your pet have a flea or tick problem?

  • Irritated skin 
  • Scratching
  • Tiny black dots that look like dirt; they may actually be flea dirt (a.k.a. flea excrement)
  • Small bites on yourself
  • Visible live fleas
  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lameness or joint pain
  • Lethargy
  • Bruising or nose bleeds
  • Vomiting (rarely)


Did you know?

  • Fleas typically congregate on the rump and thighs in dogs, but more often affect the face, neck, and back in cats.
  • Even if your pet is indoors, fleas and ticks can be brought inside by other pets or on your clothing.
  • Even in the winter, fleas can survive inside your home, causing problems for your pets. 
  • The best and safest flea/tick products are available through your veterinarian. 
  • Be sure to use ONLY cat products on cats. Cats are very susceptible to toxicity with many products. Some topical and oral products for use in dogs can be harmful or fatal to cats. If you are not sure about a particular flea or tick product, just give us a call.
  • The visible fleas on your pet represent only 5% of your pet’s flea problem. 95% of fleas will be in the egg, larval or pupae stage, and not all flea products are effective for these other stages.
  • The two areas most overlooked on your pet when searching for ticks are the ear and between the toes.

Product Recommendations:

There are numerous flea and tick products available, here are our recommendations of what we believe is best suited for our patients and our regional environment. 


Frontline TriTak -  A once a month broad spectrum topical insecticide that is absorbed through the hair follicles by the sebaceous glands. It kills adult fleas as well as the eggs and larval stages. It is also affective against the three ticks that we see in Western Washington as well as chewing lice. Frontline TriTak is safe to use on dogs and cats 12 weeks and older.

The following products are available by prescription only:

Revolution for Cats -  A once a month topical flea and internal parasite preventative. It can also be used to treat sarcoptic mange, ear mites, certain intestinal parasites, and has some efficacy towards the American Dog tick. Safe for cats & kittens 6 weeks and older.

NexGard for Dogs Only - A once month beef flavored chew given monthly to kill adult fleas before they lay eggs and kills ticks, too. All in a delicious, soft chew that dogs love. Safe for dogs & puppies over 8 weeks of age.

Trifexis for Dogs Only - A once a month flavored chewable tablet that protects your dog from five  parasites: fleas, heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.  Safe for dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older.

All of us here at EVERGREEN ANIMAL HOSPITAL hope that you and your pets have a fun and safe summer!