HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
April 30, 2007, Herald Journal

Prevent fleas and ticks now

By JENNIFER GALLUS

This is a friendly reminder to apply preventative measures of flea and tick control now before the pests present themselves.

Word on the street is that ticks have already been found on dogs in the area.

Pet owners need to keep on top of these irritating parasites whether the pets are kept indoors or out.

Some may wish to not treat pets that live outdoors, but this can come back to haunt you.

If fleas and ticks are on the pet outside, they’re also in the grass and landscaping outside your house and can hitch a ride into your house, on you and yours.

Ticks are much easier to detect than fleas. Although deer ticks are very small, fleas, depending upon what maturity stage they’re at, can be extremely hard to spot.

Plus, fleas can jump up to six feet in a bound, which is quite disturbing. That means you may open your front door only to have an unseen biting visitor enter, much like mosquitoes, but usually a mosquito can be seen or heard and swatted. The same is not true for fleas.

Although fleas will not cause disease like deer ticks can, they cause much discomfort to the dog or cat and can bite the ankles of humans.

I’ve heard horror stories about flea infestations and how they’re extremely hard to get rid of because their life cycle.

Larvae can take a week to several months to develop and adult fleas can live for several months without eating.

Besides the nuisance to us humans, think about how uncomfortable the animal is with unwanted carry-on baggage.

There’s only one kind of preventative agent I will use on my dogs and cats because it works, and there’s no question it will get the job done.

It is the kind that is a once per month liquid applied to the shoulder blades of the animal.

The price can vary quite a bit from vet to vet, so a few phone calls to compare prices can save some money.

In addition to flea and tick control, heartworm must be addressed this time of year as well, and prevention needs to continue into November.

Heartworm pills are an easy way to protect your pets from this gruesome parasite caused by mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes are the intermediate host for the larval stage of heartworms. A mosquito ingests the larva when it bites an infected animal.

The infected mosquito can then bite an uninfected animal and deposit the heartworm larva, which will then develop into heartworm, inside the new host.

Pets will die from heartworm, if left untreated. If detected and treated, the pet will endure weeks of discomfort while the parasites are killed and expelled from its body.

It’s a no-brainer. Give your pets the gift of quality living, prevent these pests now.

Prevention not only saves agony to the pet, but also to your checkbook!

Kid-isms

At a restaurant I handed my 6 year old his slightly crumpled napkin and asked him to wipe his face. He said very loudly and with a disgusted tone, “Hey, I put my big booger in that one!”