There are four letter words no pet owner wants to hear — flea and tick. These offensive and intrusive parasites can turn an otherwise happy home upside down.
Prevention is of course the key. There are many products to choose from but one size does not fit all. What works for me may not work for you.
Topical treatments, those tiny plastic tubes that you snap open and apply on a section of skin below the animal’s fur have never been easy for me. No matter what type of dog I had, parting the fur was never simple. With my current pup, Kodi the Corgi, the fur is so dense I cannot get to the skin.
According to Kodi’s the fluid is some sort of acid. He squirms and bucks and if a drop should fall and bead off his red and white coat … well the reaction is indescribable and he is not protected.
When he was younger I did manage to get a topical treatment between his shoulder blades and to his skin, or so I thought. At that time we had two other dogs, Shadow, a Labrador mix, and Luna, a golden retriever mix. The morning after I applied the treatment we found Luna had died in her sleep. She was only 8-years old with no known ailments. I have always wondered if he licked Kodi’s shoulder after the application. I will never know for sure but that was it for me and the topical treatments.
We began using Trifexis, which is an excellent treatment for fleas and ticks but is pricey. I have even tried to get it through our vet at the humane society. One our benefits is being able to get discounts, but there was no real savings for this pill. But I continued because that is what we do for our pets. We may go without something so we can care for them.
Enter a sales representative with a wonderful new product using an old method — a flea and tick collar. This is not the type you pick up in the grocery store. Seresto collars by Bayer are made for dogs and cats six months and older. The initial cost is $45 and up but they last for eight months or about $6 a month.
I put one on Kodi and one on Samantha, a cat who does not wear collars, three months ago after the threat of a flea infestation. We caught the fleas early, treated them and the house (tomorrow’s post) and then the collars were added.
As I said, indoor cat Samantha was not accustomed to having a collar on so I watched her carefully. I certainly did not want her trying to get out of the collar and getting it stuck in her mouth. But that was never an issue. These have a nice soft feel to them and everyone adapted quickly.
The feature I like the most (other than the absence of the intruders) is I put this on my pets, counted forward eight months on my phone calendar and forgot it. No more questioning myself, did I treat them this month?
Most important — I haven’t seen a flea or tick since they began wearing them.