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Vet: Warm 2012 means bad flea season

11:23 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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AP microscopic photo of a flea

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The unseasonable weather this year could lead to a problem for pets.

According to Banfield Pet Hospitals -- a national chain of pet clinics -- Michigan is among the worst states for fleas on dogs.

Dr. Karyl Ropko, of the Northeast Cat & Dog Hospital in Grand Rapids, says this is the time of year when fleas are at their worst. Until there's a good, hard frost, says the veterinarian, the bugs will remain a problem outside -- and could easily make it into your home.

"The thing about fleas that most owners don't realize is we see more fleas between October and December than any other time of the year," says Dr. Ropko. "What happens is when we have a hot summer like we had this year, those fleas are out all summer, hatching out, all over the place in the environment.

"When it starts to get a little bit cooler like the fall weather, those fleas are smart enough to know they're going to die. Right now the fleas in the environment are jumping on every animal they can to try to live all winter in your house."

The best way to check your pets for fleas is combing through their fur. If you find little black granules, put them on a piece of wet paper towel. If they dissolve and leave a rusty color, your pet has fleas.

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