In the past, it was thought that Colorado was a fairly "flea/tick-free" area, due to our high altitude and cooler climate. However, many veterinarians in the area are finding that fleas and ticks are becoming more prevalent in the area, even in dogs who live relatively sheltered lives.
Fleas and ticks cause more than the nuisance of itchy skin-- they can also carry many diseases such as Lyme disease (although this rare in Colorado), Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis, Plague, and others. Some of the diseases carried by fleas and ticks can be transmitted to humans.
When you find a flea or tick on your pet, it often indicates that there are reproducing fleas in your home as well, producing thousands of eggs and larvae that reside in the carpet, furniture, and bedding.
If your dog is a hiker or camper in Colorado, or travels outside of Colorado, especially during the summer months, we strongly recommend that they receive flea and tick preventive treatments once monthly. This is in the form of a spot-drop liquid that is applied to the skin between the shoulderblades and provides a month of protection against fleas and ticks.
Other dogs and also some cats may have lifestyles that would benefit from flea and tick prevention. See a Friendship team member to discuss more about if flea and tick prevention is right for your pet.