Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Monday, June 13, 2005

Fleas and Ticks: The Price of Good Weather

In the Spring, nature waxes abundant. But, ick! Fleas and ticks come along with the seasonal plenty. Be sure to protect your dog and your family by using a spot-on anti-flea and tick medication on your pup.

In New England, the ticks seem to be bent on repopulating the region. We pick them off our grooming guests every day (our day care guests are required to be treated with monthly medications). Massachusetts hosts several varieties: brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, and deer ticks (the tiny ones which may carry Lyme disease). When pup brings these ugly critters into your home, the ticks attach themselves to anything warm-blooded. An engorged tick then drops off its host and completes its life cycle. Which means your home becomes infested with tick eggs. Fleas will do the same, after biting your dog or your family.

All of this is fairly disgusting, as well as dangerous to human health. Fleas and ticks carry several diseases, the most common of which is Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that causes flu-like symptoms, rashes, arthritis, fatigue and neurolgic or heart problems. Lyme disease is life-threatening if it's not treated.

Pet stores and veterinarians carry monthly medications that you dribble onto your dog's skin between the shoulder blades. Check to make sure the medication breaks the flea and tick life cycle by killing the bugs AND their eggs. Other methods, such as flea/tick collars, are not as effective, because they don't render the dog's blood poisonous to the biting invaders.

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