Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring is in the air and Fleas are in your yard, and on your dog, and on your cat, and in your home ...

I knew I should put this photo at the top of the post just to get your attention. Yup, this little monster is a flea. Look how big and ugly he is. Doesn't even fit into the frame of the picture. Just waiting to jump onto your dog, or cat, or even you and bite you over and over again, taking blood meals until he or she finds either she or he, mate and lay eggs in your brand new sofa, or plush carpeting, or even the cracks of your hardwood floor, infesting your house and making you spend millions of dollars eradicating a plague like one not seen since the days of the Exodus from
Egypt. (OK, sorry, but passover is on my mind).

Fleas don't care if your dog or cat is a mixed breed or a pure breed. They don't care if it is old or young. They don't care about anything but biting someone over and over again causing all sorts of discomfort and spreading diseases. Fleas spread the black plague in europe, they spread bubonic plague in the south west, they spread cat scratch diseae everywhere. (and you thought that was a cat problem).

And just for those that thought, oh my little pookie won't get fleas, this next photo is of fleas on skin. Now, I shamelessly lifted this photo from elsewhere but I can tell you that with my limited experience in lifting photos with or without shame, this one looks like it is of a person with fleas.


And this is all before I get started on ticks. Here is my homage to ticks. These disgusting little guys are embedded in a dog. While it is an old wives tale that they burrow so deep that they disappear into the pet, they do attach, take a large blood meal, and then drop off. But often not before spreading diseases like Rocky Spotted Mountain Fever or Lyme Disease. They will attach to people and do the same nasty things.

So, if all of this is so gross and dangerous, what can we do about it? The answer is easy. Short of wrapping your pets and yourself in a plastic bag, or moving to antarctica, the key is using a safe and effective product to control fleas and ticks.
But wait you say, You heard that all of these products are dangerous poisens that will kill your pet and turn your home into a superfund toxic waste site. Really, get a grip. There are products that are not safe. There are products that don't work, but there are products that are safe and effective. The EPA report last fall did find that as a group, some of these products did have adverse reactions when used in pets. Unfortunately, they did not discriminate between products, just condemed the entire group of treatments. They did not differentiate between products used with veterinary supervision or with out. Did not try to determine if the dose was correct, or if the product was even appropriate for the species of pet it was used on.
Now come on, this is Dr. Keith talking to you. Would I let you hurt your pet? My clients know that I'm not going to recommend something that doesn't have the research behind it. I'm not going to tell you to use a product or give a vaccine or medication if your pet doesn't need it. We're talking about disease prevention here.
Talk to your veterinarian. Get a recommendation for something to use to prevent disease. Be a responsible pet owner and buy the product he or she says is best for you. If they don't have it, you can probably get it from an on-line source. Frontline plus for dogs and cats as well as K9 Advantix for dogs (DOGS ONLY) are both excellent products and you can get them from this web site, delivered directly to your home, no shipping charges or anything. Just do it now, the bugs are getting ready to pounce.
Keith Niesenbaum

ps. Look for me at the NYC 1/2 Marathon this weekend. I'll be somewhere in the back of the pack and will need all the encouragement I can get.

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