Bear is a handsome, ten year old Chocolate Labrador that came to see us for evaluation of his swollen face. The entire left side of his face was puffy and uncomfortable. When we were unable to find a trauma or known insect bite we started treatment to decrease the swelling. The next day the swelling around his muzzle and eyes was better but a firm swelling/lump remained under his left eye. He is an older lumpy guy but this lump was new.
One of the most common questions we get regarding flea and tick preventives is whether they're needed year-round. The short answer is yes, but here's some explanation as to why.
It goes without saying that pet families who live in milder climates are exposed to the problematic parasites year-round as it rarely, if ever, gets cold enough to kill them. But even if you live in an area with harsh winters, it's a game of chance taking your pet pals off their parasite preventives. Although fleas will usually die after about 10 consecutive days of freezing temperatures, some survive by living in the warm fur of wild hosts (like rabbits, raccoons, etc.) or finding adequate shelter in foundations and outbuildings like garages or barns. Their eggs can also survive in these protected spaces. Ticks are even hardier and can become active when temps reach the upper 30s, which isn't uncommon during the day in many areas that experience winter weather. All it takes is one of these surviving pests or their eggs to get on your pets or be tracked inside by you, and the warmth of your house will enable them to thrive and multiply.
Of course the risk of flea and tick infestation is higher in warm weather, but it's a misconception to think that cold temperatures are enough of a reason to stop preventives. Anyone who has dealt with an outbreak in their home would tell you it's a game of chance you don't want to play. We're happy to visit with you one-on-one to discuss your furry friends' parasite preventive plans.