Wednesday, June 8, 2005
Protecting Your Pet: Fleas
Fleas and ticks send more pets to the vet than any thing else. They can make animals and people miserable. But the problem is highly preventable. Health specialist Mariln Mitzel shows us how to keep your furry friends free of fleas, in today's protecting your pet.
WSVN -- Like tiny vampires, fleas and ticks suck the blood and even life out of animals.
Dr. Chris Stevens from Emerald Hills Animal Hospital: "That can be deadly if not caught in time."
These parasites spread Lyme disease, cause paralysis, anemia, allergies and tape worms in pets and people.
Dr. Chris Stevens: "They are running for their blood meal - so they are jumping on anything they can animals in the house and people."
It only takes one - and within weeks your home - yard and animals can be infested. Max picked up fleas at a dog park.
Max's mom Jill Snowden: "He started scratching and a week later he was still scratching and then we started noticing them around the apartment."
Ticks are even more dangerous.
MaryBeth Clayton, lost her dog: "Our dog Phoebe contracted lyme disease when she was only three years old and she actually died from it eight months later."
Pet owner Anastacia Bingham: "I found them on me and I found them on my kids - it's really gross I hate it."
You can protect yourself and your pet.
Ken Schwartz from Knowles Animal Clinics: "There are three main areas people generally need to treat when they're talking about fleas. One is the pet itself. Two is the house... and three is the yard."
But choose products carefully.
Dr. Chris Stevens: "The sprays, dips and powders can be toxic."
So can flea collars. Vets can recommend safer monthly topical flea and tick eliminators.
If your yard or home is infested, bring in a professional exterminator or do it yourself.
Sprinkling 20-mule team borax on carpets and then vacuuming may do the trick. The key is being vigilant.
Dr. Chris Stevens: "You have to check them all the time everyday."
"They love it - they do - they love the grooming and it's so good for them because it is so much close personal attention and they like it."
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