As we enter into the cooler months, many pet owners think they can be less vigilant with external parasite control, but this is not true. Ticks on the Central Coast are more active in the winter. Ticks will come from the grass/brush and attach to the less densely haired areas of dogs, cats and people. While attached, they are irritating and can pass along diseases, such as Lyme Disease and Ehrlichiosis. Fleas are always a problem for us. Without a prolonged freeze, fleas just seem to flourish. If we have a very cold winter, we may see a decreased number of fleas outdoors, but the fleas will live quite happily in our homes, garages and under decks and other protected areas.
So – what can you do to protect your pets? This is complicated. Do your pets need internal parasite control to protect children and other people in the house? Is your pet allergic to fleas or just irritated by them? Do you need tick and flea control, or just one or the other? Should you use a topical product, a collar or a pill? Where should you buy parasite control products? There are several new products on the market that really make your choices varied. You really should enlist the help of your veterinarian to ensure you are doing the best thing for your pets, your family, the environment and your wallet. I have seen many people waste money or make their pets sick by purchasing the wrong products. You should also know that products purchased on-line have the highest likelihood of being counterfeits imported from overseas.
If you have questions about parasite control, call us. We can help your put together an individualized program that is safe and effective.
by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP