Recent rains cause spike in flea population

All the rain we got in may did wonders for the lakes. It's also done wonders for the flea population.

Steven Winford's dog hammer has had a lucky summer. Instead of scratching all season long, he is only itching to play fetch with his favorite tennis ball.

“I haven't used any actual flea treatment in probably three or four years now, I give him garlic every once in a while and apple cider vinegar in his water,” said Winford, dog owner.

Other dogs and cats may not be so lucky. Central Texas may be drying out from all the rain, but it comes with a price;

“This year has been specifically a problem with fleas and ticks due to the amount of rain that we got, and now this warmer weather, we're really  starting to notice an increase in the number of fleas and ticks in the patients we've received here,” said Dr. David Allman, Veterinarian.

Doctor Allman says this year's rain has made conditions ideal for fleas to thrive.

“The moist conditions provide an opportune environment for their breeding, provided by warm weather which also helps them flourish,” said Allman.

It turns out, that over the counter shampoo or medicine you've been using, may not be helping much.

“So if you're treating your pet with a medication and it's not working, the fleas are likely resistant to that,” said Allman.

Dog owners like Steven Winford may have gotten lucky this summer, but he says many factors helped him stay in the clear.

“He's a short haired dog so I can keep an eye on him and if he did have any signs of fleas I would probably know,” said Winford.

Winford believes monitoring your pet during the warm months is just another way to show you care.

“If you consider your dog a family member like I do, and I know most pet owners do, you want the same comforts for them as you would want for yourself,” said Winford.

If you think your pet has fleas, it won't hurt to go directly to the vet for a prescription. Veterinarians say they are constantly keeping up with the latest ways to fight fleas, and the over the counter drugs may not be doing that.

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