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Flea

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The source for many flea infestations is often right outside your home. Getting rid of fleas in the yard often calls for repeated applications of chemical insecticides — sprays and powders that kill active flea populations and discourage them from returning.

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To reduce fleas in your yard without chemicals, diligent raking and mowing keep the yard from becoming a natural haven for them. Add soft mulch or wood chips to flower beds and your pets’ favorite nesting spots.

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Eradicating fleas from the home is a balancing act between effectiveness and personal safety.

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The most powerful flea-killers are often sold as “bug bombs” that saturate exposed surfaces with a strong insecticide, killing fleas in all forms.

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Some products available over-the-counter act more like flea repellents. Flea collars kill some fleas on contact and create a chemical barrier to repel adult fleas, and work well in conjunction with other methods to keep fleas from returning to their host.

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Owners must also remove the living adult fleas, eggs and carcasses from their pet’s fur.

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You’ll need to address the fleas currently living and breeding on their preferred host — your dog or cat. Killing the fleas at all stages of development protects your pet and helps remove the pests from your home overall.

This is the time to act if you do not want your pets to suffer later. Do not make the mistake of using inferior prevention products to try to save a dime now. I promise you will spend more money in the long run.

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Q:  Our Maltese woke up this morning slobbering and very anxious.  She is shaking, has a dry nose and may be feverish.  She has not been exposed to any toxins or rabid animals.  My husband is sick with a severe throat.  Could she have caught this from him?

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My practice is getting ready to launch an effort to screen all of our feline patients for a bacterial infection called Bartonella henselae – often shortened to just “Bartonella.”

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Q:  Is it important to use year-round flea and tick preventive?

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