The temperatures lately may be deceiving, but summer is definitely here and pets are feeling the consequences from pests.
As the weather warms dogs and cats are bothered by ticks. These tiny pests can cause big problems so keeping them off is key to health. Did you know more diseases are spread by ticks than any other insects? They can spread all types of blood-borne diseases to pets and humans so it's important to keep them off dogs and cats and out of the house.
The best way to prevent ticks from latching into your pet is to check with a veterinarian for treatment. Products like Frontline kill both fleas and ticks, Revolution protects against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes and can help prevent heartworm as well.
No matter what type of product a vet prescribes, it's important to follow the directions. Some dog products can be lethal to cats, so if you've got several pets make sure you're giving them the proper product in the proper dosage for their size and species. Double-check the front of the box. If it's a cat product it will have a cat on the front.
More is not better with parasite products because you can overdose your animal, so don't use a flea collar, shampoo and a topical treatment.
This year we've seen tiny ticks that can look like a raised freckle. If you do find a tick embedded in your animal, remember they can spread disease so wash your hands afterward or use gloves and tweezers.
Grasp the tick as close to the animal's skin as possible and pull straight out with no twisting because twisting can break off the head and cause infection. To dispose of a tick, put it in alcohol or flush it. If you try to step on a tick it will simply flatten out.
Prevention goes a long way toward disease control so call your vet, protect your pet and keep yourself healthy too.
The Nebraska Humane Society at 8929 Fort Street in Omaha is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can always look up animals and find information at nehumanesociety.org.