xConnectNW 113 - Early Season Bugs

Dr. Sue Kitchel sits down with us to talk about how bugs are popping up earlier this season due to the warmer than normal winter.

Producer: Greg Mills

Online Version:Kanale Rhoden , Director/Producer & Destiny Liley, Associate Producer

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2015 | 2:00 p.m.


Idaho Veterinarian Dr. Sue Kitchel pet owners need to be aware of the “shed-out season,” as it has been accelerated due the extremely warm winter, as well as be on the lookout for ticks, fleas, and heartworms.

Dr. Kitchel said she encourages pet owners now treat their pets year-round. “Bugs are becoming heartier and surviving colder temperatures.” Kitchel said. Snakes are also a common concern for pet owners everywhere. Kitchel suggests pet owners put a bell on the dog’s collar, keep the pets on a leash, or even attend a snake avoidance workshop, considering snakes are coming out of hibernation soon.

When it comes to fleas and ticks, some of the options for approaching both fleas and ticks include collars, ointments, and oral treatments. Kitchel said, “Ticks typically tend to be in the head and neck region.” Swelling usually happens within 24 hours. Checking behind the ears, neck and head are best, Kitchel explained. Heartworm is also a life-threating infection that comes from mosquitos, and although it may be treatable for dogs, that is not the case with cats. “Cats are the one species we cannot treat once they have heartworm.” Kitchel said.

Kitchel suggests pet-owners enroll in classes, watch the news, and even visit the CDC website to learn more about animal parasites and different treatment options. 

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