Pet Predicaments

Advice from local veterinarians to keep your pets safe and happy.

Protecting Your Dog From Fleas And Ticks

This week, advice from Dr. Tom Black

Summer is upon us with the advent of uninvited guests hitchhiking into our yards and homes. Our pets are at risk from fleas and ticks. These tiny pests are not simply annoying; they may also cause real health issues for dogs and cats.

Fleas and ticks are always looking for a blood meal. Consult with your veterinarian for the safest and most convenient products based on your pet’s lifestyle. In California, veterinarians recommend year-round prevention.

Some simple steps can protect pets from these annoying pests and prevent disease:

• Make sure you treat all pets in the household.

• Follow instructions on how and when to use the products.

• Do not use dog products on cats. This may result in very severe reactions in cats.

• Old pesticide products may be toxic to your pets.

• Brush and groom your pets regularly. This will help you to notice any signs of fleas or ticks.

• Keep your yard well groomed and mowed, removing all tall grass, leaves, brush and debris.

• Keep carpets and pet beds clean. Vacuum often.

• Check for ticks on your pet’s ears, face, armpits and stomach areas regularly. A tick must be attached for 24 or more hours to transmit disease.

• If your pet has had a recent tick bite, observe for swollen sore joints, lethargy, fever or lack of appetite.

• Regular visits to your veterinarian will identify symptoms and assure preventive products are effective.

The best way to deal with a flea or tick problem is before you have one. The best time to use control is before you see them. It takes much less effort to prevent fleas and ticks than it does to get rid of them and the diseases they may cause.

Dr. Tom Black is the owner of Crescenta Valley Veterinary Hospital.