Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Fighting Fleas And Ticks
Fleas and ticks send more pets to the vet than any thing else. They can make animals and people miserable and can actually be deadly. But it's preventable. Health Specialist Mariln Mitzel shows us how 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, 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. 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.
It's a huge problem in south florida because they're attracted to heat and humidity.
Plus - they're industrial strength - so they're harder to get rid of.
Pet owner Ena Barrise: "I would sit on the couch and I would actually feel things crawling underneath and I would just itch and i knew it was fleas."
Max picked up fleas at a dog park.
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: "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.
Dr. Stevens: "The biggest thing we need to do is make sure we treat our pets with preventatives and also treat the environment which includes the house and the yard."
But choose products carefully.
Dr. 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.
Dr. Stevens: "They are little lumps on them - and she probably has one right here."
The key is being vigilent.
Dr. 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. So it works out for both of you really well."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Chris Stevens
Emerald Hills Animal Hospital