Protection From Pests Needed After Swimming
A German Shorthair Pointer jumping feet-first into a pond … an English Setter sprinting across a shallow stream … a Labrador Retriever enjoying a quick swim in a cool lake. These are common sights during hunting season. Splashing through water is part of an active hunting dog’s life. It is what helps separate them from the average family pet. That is why it is important for hunters to feel confident that protection from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes will not wash off during work or play. “Because many hunting dogs come in contact with water, we suggest using K9 AdvantixTM. K9 Advantix repels and kills fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes — even after a dog has spent a great deal of time in the water. This is especially important because these pests can often transmit harmful and sometimes life-threatening diseases,” said Joe Hostetler, DVM, a veterinarian at Bayer Animal Health.
Importance of Protection It is little surprise that, because of their activities, hunting dogs, in particular, are at risk for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes on the lookout for new “hosts.” Therefore, as a hunter, it is even more important for you to protect your dog from these threats. “Hunting dogs often go directly from splashing through water to running hip-deep in brush where many hazardous pests call home,” said Hostetler. “You want to be sure your pet remains protected even after they have been in the water.”
Many seasoned hunters know, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are more than a nuisance; they pose serious health care risks. Adult fleas on dogs can cause harmful medical problems, including flea allergy dermatitis. Flea allergy dermatitis develops from flea bites which may lead to secondary skin infections, signaled by hair loss and skin abrasions. Severe cases of flea infestation can lead to anemia. Additionally, ingested fleas may transmit tapeworms.
Ticks also are a serious health hazard for hunting dogs. Ticks may transmit many diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ehrlichiosis. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association dogs are 50 percent more susceptible to Lyme disease than humans.
Mosquito bites may cause discomfort to outdoor animals, and are known for their ability to spread dangerous diseases, such as heartworm disease and West Nile virus. Any time the weather exceeds 50 degrees and damp conditions exist, hunting dogs are at heightened risk for exposure. Veterinarians agree; the best way to prevent disease transmission is to repel pests before they bite. Protection is Critical It is critical to protect any pet that will be outdoors, from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, but this is especially true with hunting dogs. When selecting a product, be certain your pet remains protected during hunting activities where there is the possibility of getting wet.
“If in doubt about any product, discuss what’s best for your dog with your veterinarian,” said Hostetler. “K9 Advantix killed 97.9 to 100 percent of ticks and 92.5 to 100 percent of fleas after repeated swims. Another Bayer product, Advantage®, also is water-resistant and eliminates fleas and flea larvae. Advantage stops fleas from biting in less than five minutes, kills 98 to 100 percent of adult fleas in 12 hours, and continues to work for up to four weeks.” Both K9 Advantix and Advantage are gentle enough to use on puppies 7 weeks of age or older.
If your dog has been outdoors and has not received monthly protection from hazardous pests, or monthly doses have been missed, inspect the dog’s entire body for signs of fleas, ticks, or mosquito bites. If you notice any unusual signs, contact your veterinarian for canine health care advice.
“To comply with the recommendations of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) for optimum parasite control, we suggest treating cats with Advantage and dogs with Advantage or K9 Advantix each month, year-round, to help repel and kill fleas. Discontinuing protection too soon is an open invitation for fleas to enter your home and live all months of the year,” said Dr. Hostetler.