Mention ticks and fleas and yes, most people, including myself, do go “ewww.” We don’t want these nuisances crawling or jumping on us, and we certainly don’t want them on our pets. The Centers for Disease Control Division of Vector-Borne Diseases urges people to protect both themselves and their pets from vector-borne diseases from these pests. Veterinary expert Dr. Michael Dryden recommends year-round parasite control and last year on goodnewsforpets, Dr. Byron Blagburn shared some additional observations that are worth repeating. This year, we also bring you Dr. Paula Harvatine of West Salem Veterinary Clinic, West Salem, Wisconsin who backs up the experts with some practical advice.
It’s great this advice and a product like Vectra3D exists. When I was a kid growing up on Long Island, my family boated on South Oyster Bay and my brothers and I played among the sand dunes at Robert Moses State Park, Tobay Beach and in countless other coves. The biggest concern was staying away from the poison ivy. As far as “bugs” go, ticks were a nuisance, mosquitoes and green flies buzzed us, but bug bites were deemed harmless albeit itchy! When we camped in the woods, the same rules applied. But once Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever outbreaks emerged on Long Island and Lyme Disease became prominent in the news, the ever-increasing tick population took on an ominous importance that continues on Long Island to this day. The concern about vector-borne diseases isn’t just limited to Long Island –it’s nationwide. Admittedly I’ve never experienced a flea outbreak, and thank goodness. Preventing ticks and fleas with a good parasite prevention program is the reason. Ticks and fleas…ewww. I’d rather keep my distance — for me and my pets.