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A Terrible Season for Fleas and Ticks

Here in the Northeast we didn’t have much of a winter, and we are now feeling repercussions with ticks and fleas. Some experts say it is the worst season ever.

Here in the Northeast we didn’t have much of a winter, and we are now feeling repercussions with ticks and fleas. Some experts say it is the worst season ever.

Ticks and fleas are of serious concern for our pets, but we often forget that they also pose a risk to humans. Ticks on pets can easily crawl off and onto you, your children and other family members. Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and others. These diseases can be devastating to humans and even life-threatening. Cats are less prone to tick diseases than dogs, but they do exist, and unfortunately there are only a few preventatives available for use on cats. It is extremely important to consult your veterinarian for options, as some products are very toxic to cats.

Make sure to be vigilant in checking your pet (and yourself!) for ticks. To remove a tick, experts recommend wearing gloves. Using tweezers, grasp the tick by the mouthpart (the part that is attached to the skin) and pull. Sometimes the head of the tick can stay embedded in the skin. To dispose of the tick, do not throw it back outside! Put the tick in a small jar of rubbing alcohol. Do not crush ticks. By doing so, you can expose yourself to tick-transmitted diseases.

Flea numbers are up this season. The most common place to find fleas on your pet is near the base of the tail. Sometimes you can see them crawling on your pet’s belly, too. You may not see any fleas, but if you see specks that look like black pepper, that is flea dirt (flea poop)--evidence that fleas have been there! Fleas commonly transmit tapeworms in animals but can also transmit more serious diseases, such as the plague, to both pets and humans. The plague was recently diagnosed in a cat and a human in the Midwest. Additionally, fleas often cause itching and irritation to the pet’s skin. If your pet has fleas, first consult your veterinarian. He or she can help you develop a comprehensive eradication plan. Be patient. It can take up to six months to eliminate a flea infestation in your home, so prevention is key! I recommend year-round monthly flea and tick protection.

Remember that your veterinarian deals with these problems on a daily basis, and he or she is the best source for information about tick and flea control. So give your vet a call and protect your pets, your family and yourself from these pesky critters!

Dr. Sarah Alward is the veterinarian at the in Wainscott.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

sylvie September 29, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Hi, You love your pets you want to protect them from ticks and fleas, tested and approved http://www.petprotector.org/?ID=13450
Andrew Lennertz October 06, 2012 at 06:08 AM
To Dr. Alward, I can totally understand your observational perspective. The average vet has basically malnourished, underexercised pets who live in highly toxic homes dumped on them daily and is expected to work miracles for pennies on the dollar and there is great pressure just like medical doctors to just prescribe a drug which is hard not to do considering the acute progression of the illnesses you are treating. Your licensing body expects you to treat according to accepted protocols or it might threaten the status of your practice. You are in the middle of a perfect storm of sick pets, negligent pet owners and licensing bodies so I truly empathize with your position as a practitioner and that you must use the strategies that get as much immediate palliative benefit as possible. I am not in the position. I intentionally did not become a medical doctor for that reason. I am a nutritional biochemist with 3 decades of experience in the area of toxicology and immunology. In fact I pioneered the first metabolic protocols for medical doctors who specialize in the area of immune challenges aggravated by both microbiological infiltration and environmental toxicological interference. Your dog who has concurrent Ehrlichia has a multitude of systemic and target organ challenges which will be never cured by a cocktail of antibiotics and immunosuppressive drugs. Each one has its own contribution to decreased metabolic and nutritional status which I will go into more detail next.
Andrew Lennertz October 06, 2012 at 06:28 AM
First of all you are incorrect about there being zero research showing there are potentially long term effect of using insecticides. As I pointed out in a previous post, the level of chemical reactivity is based on many factors for which most doctors do not test for since they are not familiar with metabolic based testing. Age, weight, dog breeds, liver chemistry efficiency and nutritional status can create great variations in toxicological resilience. Most of medical research has been based on the erroneous principle that there is such a thing as a average healthy person or animal. This animal does not exist. Without performing metabolic testing to develop a baseline for metabolic efficiency and functionality, the information derived from most biological research is significantly arbitrary which is why so much medical research contradicts itself. I am also an applied and actuarial mathematician who has worked with other mathematicians on just this algorithmic challenge. I created metabolic protocols for the doctors from Harvard and Tufts in the 80s to completely resolve the multiple etiological challenges of complex immune system disorders such as what this dog is suffering from. The source of the challenge must be treated (the liver) along with the target organs it effects ..in this case the spleen, bone marrow, blood cells and humoral immune system. There are things you can do to support this pet in addition to the regretfully necessary aggressive care you are providing.
Andrew Lennertz October 06, 2012 at 06:49 AM
The first step of metabolic support is reinstating normal liver amino acid pool status. Without adequate protein supply the immune system will fail while cannibalizing structural protein from the bones, interstitial tissue and blood cells. The best therapy I have found for animals is predigested white fish protein called Seacure which was originally developed for restoring anabolic protein status to burn patients. Secondly the byproducts of bacterial metabolism will cause the formation of toxic metabolites which will interfere with systemic energy production and liver anabolism and catabolism. The pet needs to be on a comprehensive multivitamin and mineral supplementation with high amounts of zinc and the coenzyme forms of the B vitamins to aid secondary liver conjugation. To support systemic inflammatory load reduction and aid primary cytochrome 450 liver conjugation, he needs to be on a regimen of superoxide dismutase/catalase, methionine reductase and glutathione peroxidase. This along with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids will stabilize liver chemistry and shunt intermediate free radical production which is ravaging blood cells and bone marrow along while stabilizing the intracellular cement of the epidermis. Systemic enzymes like serrapeptase, trypsin, chymotrypsin, and bromelain will break down the bacteria and protein fragments from antibiotic treatment which are causing an uncontrolled herxheimer reaction causing vascular permeability and auto toxicity.
Andrew Lennertz October 06, 2012 at 07:31 AM
Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone (HMC) will stabilize the vascular walls and prevent increased permeability and prevent leakage of bacterial fragments into the surrounding interstitial tissues which cause autoimmune and atypical allergic histamine reactions. Iron bis-glycinate, methylcobalamin B12, and Vitamin K will aid in blood cell formation and clotting. Spleen, bone marrow and thymic polypeptides will accelerate blood cell production and immune functionality since once a host has been compromised at this level of pathogenic intrusion, further infection becomes another concern. The three major focuses of any complex immune protocol is the normalization of protein metabolism/stabilization of structural protein, reduction of systemic inflammatory load and immune functionality restoration. This will take care of both originating and target organ functional restoration and then a combination of allopathic and/or medical antimicrobial therapies will enable the complete eradication of the offending pathogen. All these products can be obtained from Emerson Ecologics (www.emersonecologics.com). To anybody reading this, these protocols should only be implemented by vets and doctors who are familiar with metabolic protocols and should never be self administered.

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