Fleas are small, fast moving insects that live on the skin and hair of the dog or cat. They are a significant cause of allergy, dermatitis and scratching in dogs and cats, and can also transmit some species of intestinal worms.
Flea prevention is not essential in all pets, but is highly recommended in areas with a high flea population or for animals who spend a lot of time outdoors.
Fleas can also transmit other diseases, including tapeworms and Mycoplasma, a nasty blood infection.
I think the best treatments for fleas and ticks include Bravecto, a 3 monthly tablet; Seresto, a collar that lasts for 8 months, and Nexgard, a monthly tablet which also prevents heartworm and worms. I've discussed flea and tick treatments at the bottom of the page.
Please note that flea and tick shampoos and pyrethrin-based products are not particularly effective, and resistance is commonly seen.
Ticks & Tick Fever
Ticks are an 8-legged bug that look somewhat like a large, slow moving flea. Apart from causing irritation and possible blood loss, ticks often carry Babesia, a microscopic parasite which can cause Tick Fever in dogs. Tick Fever is a life-threatening condition somewhat similar to malaria in people. Common signs include lethargy, pale gums and very dark coloured urine, and is seen on a regular basis in dogs in Hong Kong.
For more information on Tick Fever click here.
Ticks are most common in bushy areas, but are present throughout Hong Kong.
Flea and tick Prevention.
Bravecto is an FDA approved chewable tablet that is effective against Fleas and Ticks for 12 weeks. This product can be used on dogs as young as 6 months. This is recommended for dogs who go swimming a lot or are bathed regularly.
Seresto is a non-toxic collar which is infused with a slow-release formula to repel Flea and Ticks. The collar does not smell at all and can be used on both dogs and cats. It lasts for 8 months. Great for owners who want to put something on and forget about it. The collar should be removed when going swimming or bathing.
Frontline is also a great choice, especially for fleas, but is getting older and is probably not as effective for ticks as Bravecto or Seresto.