Fleas and Ticks

One of the joys of living in California is our wonderful weather allowing us to be outside most of the year. As our pets join us in those outdoor activities they are prone to exposure to ticks and fleas. In the past decade products to control fleas and ticks have evolved as resistance develops in some insects. It would be impossible to cover the gamut of products out there - though the veterinary information network has an updated list of products with details of their action which can help people decide on specific products.

Most of us count on our veterinarian to guide us based on our pets’ habits, environment and sensitivity to fleas. Dogs and cats with flea allergies need to have vigilant control so they are not miserably itching themselves all day. As Lyme disease becomes more prevalent in California and we learn more about tick borne diseases, stopping the spread of such diseases with tick control is important. Pet owners also have concerns about the chemicals needed to control these insects and how their pets might react to medications. Animals with seizure disorders should not get certain types of flea control and some owners prefer a topical versus oral medication.


Because of the spread of vector borne diseases like Lyme, Ehrlichia and Bartonella as well as some of the feline infectious anemia (mycoplasma) diseases that cats can get from fleas some type of control is needed for most pets. In addition to topical or oral preventatives pet owners should regularly wash bedding in very hot water and vacuum the house to help removal of flea eggs and larvae that accumulate in those areas. A daily examination of your pet to find any ticks that might have crawled on board during the day is also recommended.

Listed below are links to the current products available and their activities.  Scroll through to learn a little more about them, however a frank discussion with your veterinarian or their office staff regarding the particular needs of your pet in it’s environment is suggested.

Current products available and their activities:

Flea/Tick Chart for Dogs

Flea/Tick Chart for Cats

Blog Post Author: 

Merrianne Burtch, DVM, DACVIM