OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – More pet owners in Oklahoma City have been struggling to keep their pets safe during this extreme heat, especially from one pesky problem.
Summer has been one of the most active times for fleas and ticks. Vets told KFOR the problem has only getting worse. Now animal hospitals in Oklahoma City are seeing a rise in pet owners scheduling appointments.
Sherrie Payne at Rock Knoll Animal Hospital said the spike was due to the extreme temperatures and lack of moisture in the soil.
Pets can get fleas or ticks by simply playing in the dirt outside or from the grass in your yard.
“I always recommend flea and tick product year-round in Oklahoma because of those issues, like tick diseases. They can actually die from it,” said Sherrie Payne, Rock Knoll Animal Hospital.
There are many different options to get rid of fleas or ticks on your pet.
A popular one includes giving them a flea and tick bath, but once you get rid of them on your pet, you also need to do so in your living space.
Humans can eventually get fleas too if you don’t get rid of them from your environment.
We confirmed with Payne that if you see one flea on your pet, there’s likely 99 others hiding in your home and car. So, the only way you’re going to fully get rid of them is if you get rid of them in the environment you and your pet are living in.
“They can lay anywhere from 9,000 to 50,000 eggs at a time. So, there are lots of them out there… You have to make sure the environment is getting treated. So, a product for your home, one of them is called knock out. And it once it dries, it’s pretty safe. But what you do is you have to vacuum your floors everywhere. Throw it away outside because they can get out of vacuum bags or your trash cans,” said Payne.
A product Payne suggested using on your pet is Bravecto which is a chewable that kills fleas and ticks for dogs and puppies.
You can also use a topical solution, spray, or a flea and tick collar. You can even add fish oils to their diet.
You have to actively be looking for fleas and ticks on your pet.
They like to hide at the neck and shoulder blades along with the base of the tail and the back of the legs.
Some signs that your pet may have fleas or ticks include severe scratching and itching, biting and chewing at the skin, scabs or red irritation to the skin.
Talk with your vet for advice when treating your pet.