Provecta: The Effective, Affordable Solution for Year-Round Flea & Tick Prevention

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Provecta: The Effective, Affordable Solution for Year-Round Flea & Tick Protection

As summer approaches, many of us are excited to spend more time outdoors with our family and friends — including our canine companions. For the most part, it is easy for us to remember that with the lovely weather this is also a time when we encounter ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. The truth is that while these pests are very active in the summer, they are active year-round throughout many parts of the United States. These parasites are more than just annoying — they can transmit diseases to both our furry family members and us.

Before heading out for a hike in the woods or for a game of fetch in the fields, make sure that your pet is on an ectoparasite preventative. Understand that these parasites are not just a warm weather concern; tick feeding activity has been recorded in temperatures as low as 45°F! Finding an effective and affordable solution for flea and tick prevention is key to keeping your pets protected all year-round.

Graphic of the Tick Life Cycle

Tick Life Cycle

Ticks are parasitic animals that attach to one or more hosts for a blood meal as they move through their life cycle. As arachnids, adult ticks and their nymph stage will have eight legs while their juvenile stage only has six. There are more than 90 different soft or hard-bodied tick species present in North America. Of the many hard-bodied tick species, only a handful will feed on our canines and potentially spread disease. Depending on the tick species and host requirements, a tick life cycle can span a few weeks to a few years as they develop from an egg to an adult. Despite the variability of time to complete a life cycle, ticks move through the cycle in a similar fashion. They start as an egg that hatches as a larval stage, emerging to take a blood meal. Then the tick molts to the nymph stage, taking another blood meal where they will molt once more and become an adult. As an adult they take yet another blood meal prior to mating, producing eggs and starting the cycle over again.

Species of Ticks

Different tick species have different requirements for blood meal hosts. Some tick species will have all stages feed on one host, while others like the Deer Tick (the tick most associated with Lyme disease), will drop off a host to molt and attach to a new host for the next stage. Ticks that require different hosts throughout their development process are the ticks that are most likely to be involved in disease transmission as they move from one host to the next. Another factor in ticks and disease transmission is that some tick species are more regional in their distribution. The Western Blacklegged Tick is found only in the west coast region of the United States. Other tick species like the Brown Dog tick are found throughout the country.

Are Certain Regions More Populated with Ticks?

The regionality of tick species’ ranges has, in the past, kept certain tick-borne diseases confined to certain local areas. Recent surveillance data suggests that many tick species’ geographical ranges have been expanding over the years, bringing diseases that they can carry along with them. Diseases once seen in only a few geographical locations are now being diagnosed outside the original “hot spots.” Tick range expansion looks to only continue as scientists suggest that the expansion is the result of milder average temperatures for longer periods of time across the entire United States.

Another factor impacting tick expansion is the blending of rural spaces with city sprawl. Areas designated for wildlife species are disappearing as cities and suburbs expand into these rural spaces. Wildlife brings the ticks to our parks, walking trails, and yards. Because our companion animal habitats overlap with those of wildlife, the potential for tick exposure and tick-borne disease transmission increases.

Canine Diseases that Come from Ticks

The most common tick-borne diseases seen in our canine family members are Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis. Many tick-borne diseases have similar, non-specific clinical signs. Your dog may be lethargic, lack an appetite, feverish, or sluggish. Because of the ill-defined clinical signs and the fact that signs may not appear for 2 weeks or more post tick-bite, these diseases can be difficult to diagnose. Often other diseases need to be ruled out as the cause of your pet’s condition. Some pets will only experience mild disease symptoms, while others will show significant illness. Some pets may have long-lasting or potentially life-threatening disease complications, while others recover uneventfully.

How Can You Prevent Disease?

Diagnosis of tick-borne diseases is not always straightforward and can be expensive. Preventive vaccination is not an option for most tick-borne diseases, so preventing a tick from attaching and feeding long enough to transmit disease is your pet’s best defense. Consider focusing on appropriate parasite control, vigilant visual monitoring, and timely removal of attached ticks.

Protect Your Pet with Provecta

Ticks are so much more than just a nuisance pest. They can harbor and transmit significant disease-causing organisms. Consider protecting your pet with NEW Provecta Advanced Flea & Tick Spot-On for Dogs. This once-a-month waterproof topical repels and kills ticks for up to 4 weeks, including the Deer Tick, American Dog Tick, Brown Dog Tick, and Lone Star Tick.

Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best course of action and preventative plan for your pet. When choosing a product, it is important to follow the label and to avoid any missed doses. Remember that pet protection is a year-long commitment and be sure to choose a preventative product that is effective and affordable. Provecta offers a full line of preventative solutions — with the same active ingredients as top brands — for year-round protection at half the price.

NOTE: This article was written by Neogen’s Veterinary Technical Services Team on behalf of PBS Animal Health.

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