12 On Your Side: Protecting your pets from pests

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, July 14, 2012

AIKEN, S.C. -- Lisa Raphaela says she was shocked when she found a tick on her dog.

"I was very surprised to see it, and it was latched on pretty good," Raphaela said. "My guys don't usually even get ticks. They're treated for fleas and ticks."

Raphaela says she takes good care of them, gives them medicine and they pretty much stay indoors so she couldn't imagine where it came from.

"They don't run in the woods, and they're not around a whole lot of wildlife or anything," she said.

But vets say, this year, that's not uncommon.

"Front staff client relations have just been inundated with questions. 'What do we do about fleas?' 'How do we deal with it this that and the other?' and they have been overwhelmed this year with people wanting to know what to do with fleas," said Dr. Cindy Brown, a small animal vet at Aiken Animal Hospital.

She has worked with small animals for 26 years. She says more people are finding fleas and ticks on their animals because of the weather, even though they've taken precautions.

"Fleas are residual and if you get them in your home or your space, it can take a while to get them under control," she said.

She says the only way to prevent them is with medicine and making sure you treat the whole environment.

"You have to treat the environment, such as if they live in the yard, you have to treat the yard. You have to clean your house regularly," she said.

But she does send out one important warning saying, "You do not use dog products on cats if it's not labeled for cats because a lot of our dog products that are dogs only will basically make a cat very sick or quite possibly kill it."

So always make sure you read the label and keep your animals protected.

Right now we are at the peak of the season, so make sure you are taking every precaution with your pets.

This year, because of the weather, vets are expecting flea and tick season to last through October.

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