March 26, 2007 - Posted at 5:00 p.m. CST
Jonesboro, AR - With the mild temperatures this last Winter and the Spring days that feel like summer, fleas and ticks are already out and about, and looking for your pets.
Dr. Kevin Reed with Vetcare says you need to get started on treating your pers for fleas and ticks.
"Springtime is a good time to get started with wellness exams and to see if there are any problems that could occur with fleas and ticks. It's easier to prevent than to play catch up later on with these parasites."
Shampoos, dips, collars, and topicals are all great ways of keeping fleas and ticks off your pets, and there's even a pill.
"If you have a severe infestation, there's a pill you can give the pet that will make the pests fall off fast. But it's not something meant for long-term use, it only lasts 24 hours."
Dr. Reed says it's important to keep your pets clear of pests because of disease and discomfort.
"It's painful to have bites and have to scratch all the time, but on top of that, ticks and fleas can carry diseases. Some that can even be carried onto humans. Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever are two disease that these pests carry."
There are many products you can use for your lawn to kill ticks and fleas, but that's not all you need to do. Dr. Reed says it's important to use preventative measures inside as well.
"That's where they live. Fleas will jump onto an animal for food and then jump off. They don't live on the animal. They lay there eggs and live in your homes and down into the carpets. So if you treat once be sure to retreat after four weeks."
Many of us use a flea and tick product on our animals and still see fleas, so naturally we think it isn't working. Dr. Reed says that's not the case.
"There is no product out on the market that will create an invisible shield for your pet. Whatever product you use on your pet, the flea or tick must be on the animal for it to have any affect. So don't be alarmed. If you are using your product regularly and by directional use, you should be ok."
If you want more information about the diseases these pests can carry log onto these websites.