► FLEAS AND TICKS
• FLEAS Fleas are among the most common health problems of dogs and cats. In the long run, it is much easier and more cost-effective to prevent fleas on your pets than to have to treat a major infestation of fleas in your house. Regular use of flea products will take care of the occasional flea your pets may encounter in the yard and should prevent you from having to spend large sums of money on foggers and exterminators.
Fleas will bite your pets, causing an itchy allergic reaction, which can become quite severe. They carry viral and bacterial diseases. In small animals, especially puppies and kittens, and the anemia they cause from feeding on the animal's blood can be fatal. They also carry tapeworms. Tapeworm segments in the stool around the rectal area look like small grains of rice. If your cat has fleas, chances are good it has tapeworms.
If you've never been lucky enough to see a flea, they are about 1/8 inch long, reddish brown and shaped like a sesame seed with legs. They are usually found on your pet's head, belly, or lower back. If you ripple the hair backwards and look at the skin they can be seen scurrying through the base of the hair coat. The dropping they leave behind can be seen in clusters, and they look like grains of pepper. If you place some of these on a white paper towel, wet it and mush it around it will turn the towel red. This is because flea droppings contain digested blood.
FLEA PREVENTION Many flea products sold in grocery and discount stores are wasting your time and money. Some are even harmful to pets, especially cats. Veterinary products, on the other hand, are regulated by each state and the EPA. We can give you advice as to how to use and apply them, and we often have discounts and rebates that pet stores don't have. Internet products can be counterfeit, and in fact often are. Since we buy veterinary products sold directly to us from the manufacturer, you don't have to worry about these problems with us. Make sure you ask us about flea and tick prevention when you bring you dog in for their next appointment.
► TICKS Many flea products kill or repel ticks as well, but ticks are tougher than fleas. They require higher levels of insecticides to kill them, so flea products sometimes have to be applied more often to control ticks. As with flea products, we can provide you safe, effective products that do a good job at preventing not only ticks, but the diseases they transmit as well.
• If you are considering beginning a flea or tick control program for your pets, please consult with us. There are so many products on the market nowadays that it's tough to decide which ones are right for you. We are more than happy to help!