Written by Heather Sinn, Office Manager
The weather will soon be getting warmer and with spring just around the corner, be sure to have your pets protected against fleas and ticks. Not only is it important to treat your dogs who go outside to relieve themselves and to go on those long awaited walks around the neighborhood, but it is equally crucial to treat your cats who stay indoors all year round. If you’re like most multi-species pet owners, we all think of treating the dog, since they will be outside a lot, and around other dogs at the dog park, but many pet owners don’t always remember to treat the cat who spends their day lounging inside and soaking up the sun from their favorite window perch. Even if the cat never sets a paw outdoors, they are still at great risk of being a walking buffet for hundreds of hungry fleas.
If you have ever had a flea infestation in your home, you know that they don’t just affect your pets, but they affect your entire household, including your family. The best way to protect your pets and your home is to use a good monthly flea and tick preventative such as Frontline Plus. If you apply the treatment regularly every month, your pets will be able to go outside to play, take long walks through the woods, and come home confident that they are protected against those pesky little critters that we all cringe to think about. Fleas and ticks are not uncommon, and your pets are able to pick them up just by walking by a raccoon’s favorite hideout, or exploring the tall grasses or wooded areas, so please don’t think you’re doing anything wrong.
Do an at home evaluation of your pet – part the hair and look closely at their skin…if you see little black specks, this is the telltale sign that they have fleas, as these little black dots are flea feces. Also comb through their fur with a flea comb to check for live fleas – they love to hide on their underside and around their inner hind legs. To inspect your home, look in their pet beds and favorite sleeping spots to check for flea dirt or even live fleas. If you notice evidence of fleas or an infestation, give our office a call for some advice on how to manage the situation.
After your dogs has been outside for their afternoon walk, or out playing with the neighborhood dogs, we recommend you take a good look for any ticks on their fur and skin when they come back indoors. Early tick removal is a great way to prevent or minimize the transmission of disease. If you find a tick feeding on your pet, the first thing to do is… don’t panic. Then remove the tick by firmly grasping it as close to your pet’s skin as you can and gently pull up on the tick with one continuous twisting motion to pull it out, making sure you get the entire tick out, including the head. It is a good idea to use a pair of tweezers to get a hold of the tick, but be careful not to squeeze too hard. After removing a tick from your pet, keep an eye on the area where you removed it, and be sure to call us at the first sign of any infection, or if you notice a change in your pet’s behavior.