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How to check your pet for pests

Mar 28, 2015 | Lifestyles

(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Adult ticks are often visible to the naked eye, but you may be able to spot them on short-haired pets. But with longer haired pets, it’s best to do a thorough inspection with a fine-toothed comb.

Signs your pet may have fleas can include flea dirt (small dark flakes), excessive itching or scratching, redness and inflammation, hot spots and pale gums. You may also see adult fleas on your pet’s coat and skin.

Follow this advice from the experts at PetArmor to find and eliminate fleas and ticks on your pet:

1. First, use a fine-toothed metal flea comb. Run the comb along your pet’s back or underbelly, making sure the comb comes in contact with the skin.

2. If you pull out any fleas or ticks, immediately drown them in a nearby bowl of soapy water.

3. Have your pet stand on a white sheet or towel. Then brush or rub your pet’s coat. Small black specks on the white sheet or towel are more than likely fleas or flea dirt. Flea dirt can also look like sand.

4. Apply a monthly topical preventive treatment such as PetArmor Plus to keep pests from coming back.

5. Also be sure to treat your home and yard to prevent a recurrence.

Choosing a preventive treatment

No two pets are the same, so it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before you begin a flea and tick preventive program. Some questions to keep in mind as you’re determining the best treatment for your pet include:
• Is a topical or oral treatment most appropriate for my pet?
• How costly is the treatment?
• Can I get the treatment from a retailer over the counter, or is it available only through the veterinary office?
• Does it kill eggs and larvae to prevent the re-infestation cycle?
• How quickly does it begin working and how long will it last?
• Is it waterproof?
• Is it safe for breeding, pregnant and lactating animals?

— Family Features

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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