March Blog: Why Do I Recommend Flea and Tick Preventative and Is It Really Necessary Year Round?

Why Do I Recommend Flea and Tick Preventative and Is It Really Necessary Year Round?

That’s probably a question as a dog owner and client of Surry Animal Hospital that you’ve probably asked yourself.  If not, you probably will at some point in time and that’s an absolutely fair question to ask.  So with this month’s blog post I’m going to try and explain why I feel that flea and tick preventatives are important, not only during the warmer months of late spring, summer and fall, but year round in our area.  Hopefully after reading this you will understand the importance of year round protection and no longer wonder about the question above.

I am a big believer in using flea and tick preventatives year round in our area due to the relatively mild temperatures in our area.  Fortunately (or unfortunately for you if you enjoy snow!) we don’t see very cold temperatures like we see might see if we lived further north in areas such as New Hampshire or Maine.  Those areas get cold enough during the winter months that fleas and ticks are not a huge issue.  But here in North Carolina the temperatures don’t reach sustained temperatures low enough to give us a break from ticks and fleas.  Just today, when the temperature was 48 degrees I removed five ticks from one dog’s ear.  So they are still present, even at what we consider cooler temperatures.

So you may ask, why are ticks and fleas of importance to us and our pets?  The main reason is they can both cause health problems and concerns in animals and ourselves.  Ticks carry well known diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease as well as other tick diseases that you might not have ever heard of such as ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, tick paralysis, babesiosis and numerous others.  All of these diseases can be fatal.  I’m not going to attempt to explain each of these diseases, but more than enough information can be found online about each of these.  The important thing to remember is it’s nearly impossible to get any of these diseases if ticks are prevented from biting the animals or biting us.

Well, what about fleas?  Why should those be prevented.  The largest reason to prevent fleas is because lots of dogs are allergic to flea bites and the allergy can cause extreme pruritus (or itching) as well as hair loss.  Two other well known diseases are also caused by flea bites.  The first is called Bartonella henselae, better known to you and I as “Cat Scratch Fever”.   The bacteria is passed from cat to cat through infected fleas then passed to people through a scratch or bite.  The other disease carried by fleas that we have all heard of is called Yersenia pestis, or the PLAGUE!  Yes, the plague! The plague can be passed to humans through a flea bite that has bitten an infected rodent.  This disease usually causes large sores on the body, and although rare and treated with antibiotics, is a disease better off avoided.  The most common disease we see from fleas is tapeworms, those small, rice-like segments found around the anus of our dogs or cats.  These can come from an animal ingesting a flea, which can lead to tapeworms which has to be treated with expensive medications.

Above are some of the many reasons I choose to recommend flea and tick preventatives to our dogs and cats year round in our area.  Not only can the diseases be serious and cause concern in our pets but they can also put ourselves and our friends and family at risk for diseases as well.  It’s just a risk not worth taking when flea and tick medicines are so relatively cheap compared to treating these diseases.  So don’t take the chance, spend the $10-15 a month to prevent these nasty insects from infecting our dogs and cats to prevent these diseases.  The last misconception about flea and tick preventative I’d like to address is one that I hear nearly every day.  People, rightfully so, believe that they don’t need flea preventative for an animal that stays indoors and this isn’t necessarily true.   Nearly every animal will get a flea at some point, no matter indoors or out.  And as gross as it may seem, fleas do live in nearly everyone’s house.  That is completely normal and very difficult to avoid.  Fleas like areas that are dark and warm, and especially during the winter that place is in our carpets.  Fleas feed on blood, so they look for a good place for a meal, and that’s our pets.  They can also feed on us during those times, but they like the dogs and cats more because it’s warm and dark on their furry bodies.  Therefore, in my professional opinion, I feel that all dogs and cats, whether indoors or outdoors, should be on a year round flea prevention and outdoor dogs and cats should be on year round flea and tick prevention.

Thanks for reading our blog this month and don’t forget our special this month to purchase your flea and/or tick preventative.  Next month we have another promotion planned so stay tuned to our facebook page, our website and our twitter page for updates as they become available.  And as always, if you need us we are usually a phone call away and glad to help you any way we can.


Mark Hauser, DVM

Surry Animal Hospital, P.A.


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2 Responses


Hey Doc, i ask you the other day about a food additive named Dynovite to aid w Jersey’s scratching. You asked about the ingredients, well the is what they sent me. Let me lnow if you think it will help.
Hi Zane,
Your dog will be a Giant dog. Below is a list of ingredients for that size. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein … Minimum …10%
Crude Fat … Minimum …10%
Crude Fiber …Maximum …17%
Moisture…Maximum …12%
Zinc…Minimum …2 mg/gm
*Omega 3 Fatty Acids …Minimum …6%
*Lactic Acid Microrganisms …Minimum …1.0x106CFU/gm (L. acidophilus, L. casei, B. thermophilum and E. faecium)

Enzyme Activity per 1 tsp. of supplement

*Amylase (A. oryzae)…………….. 152 mg starch dextrinized/min/gm

*Protease (A. oryzae) ……………. 640 mcg of tyrosine equivalence liberated/min/gm

*Lipase (A. niger) 40 micromoles fatty acids liberated/min/gm

*Not Recognized as an Essential Nutrient by the AFFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.*


Ground Flax Seed -Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Fatty acids support skin function. Ground flax also contains phytonutrients and fiber that help support your dog’s good body function.

Dried kelp- Natural source of iodine and many trace minerals.

Yeast Culture- Live yeast that provide digestive enzymes and vitamins. Not to be confused with Candida yeast that causes yeast infections.

Dried yeast- Source of digestible amino acids and B complex vitamins. Also referred to as nutritional yeast and not to be confused with brewer’s yeast or “candida yeast” that causes yeast infections.

Ground Grain Sorghum- Natural antioxidant.

Fructooligosaccharide- A complex sugar that is a prebiotic. Fructooligosaccharide passes through the stomach then small intestine undigested. As it enters the large intestine it is available as food for the beneficial bacteria that live in the large intestine. The beneficial bacterial cultures can thus thrive and start to starve out the pathogenic yeast (Candida albicans) that cause yeast infections. *An important note: the yeast we put into our products is not the same species that causes yeast infections.

Zinc methionine complex- A highly digestible form of zinc. Zinc methionine is a zinc atom bound to a methionine amino acid molecule. Body cells love methionine so they readily absorb it and the zinc atom goes along for the ride. Zinc is an antioxidant mineral, essential for many vital enzymatic processes. Zinc is needed for a functioning reproductive and immune system, for tissue renewal, maintenance of the skin and for healthy bones and teeth. Zinc helps support the function of the liver and the release of vitamin A. Zinc is required for the development of the skeletal system, nervous system and for brain function. Methionine is an amino acid with antioxidant activity which assists detoxification. Methionine aids the metabolism of Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Alfalfa nutrient concentrate-Take everything good about alfalfa and condense it, like one giant super vegetable!

Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product dehydrated- Direct fed microbial that helps support immune system and digestive tract.

Aspergillus niger fermentation product dehydrated-Direct fed microbial that helps support immune system and digestive tract.

Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated-Direct fed microbial that helps support immune system and digestive tract.

Lactobacillus casei fermentation product dehydrated- Direct fed microbial that helps support immune system and digestive tract.


Hey Zane, sorry for the LONG delay in replying! Haven’t been on the site lately due to time constraints so I apologize for the long delay. If you have any questions like this in the future don’t hesitate to call me at the office! Much more reliable.

The ingredients look ok to me but I must say I’m not a nutritionist. But by looking at the ingredients it doesn’t appear to have very many things that may be allergens. You can try it and see if you get good results. However, I’d make sure it’s a well rounded diet and that might be a question to ask them. Let me know how it works out.

I apologize again for the delay in response.

Mark Hauser

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We are a full service animal hospital for companion animals as well as large animals. We offer a full range of medical and surgical services as well as preventative health care for your pets. We provide extensive in-house laboratory services, highly technical surgical skills and pharmaceuticals.

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Surry Animal Hospital, PA
926 Reeves Drive
Mt. Airy, NC 27030

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