Fleas? What are those?
The flea is an external parasite of many species of mammals including cats and dogs. Adult fleas live on the animal and bite the skin, which allows them to consume the animal’s blood. There are also many species of fleas, however, the fleas that live on dogs, cats and some other mammals are the same species. This means that dogs can get fleas from cats, and vice versa! Yuck!

Oh no! You’ve found a flea on your pet! How did that get there?
Fleas can be picked up from a variety of sources, including wildlife and their nests, the environment, stray cats and dogs, and even from people’s clothes. Once they get in your household, they can be a menace to both the two-legged and four-legged occupants in your home!

But it’s the middle of the winter! How did my pet get fleas?
It’s important to understand the life cycle of the flea. Adult fleas live on an animal, feasting on their blood. These adult fleas will then lay eggs, which fall off into the surrounding area whenever the pet scratches or shakes. The flea eggs then hatch up to 1 month later, and the flea larvae begin developing within the bedding, flooring, carpet fibers, or other areas in the house. The developed fleas will then jump back on your pet and continue the life cycle. In this way, fleas can complete their entire life cycle within the warmth and safety of your home!

That’s gross! How do I get rid of them?
The best way to get rid of fleas is through a multimodal approach. The most important factor is to begin using a monthly flea and tick medication for your pet all year round. This will kill any fleas that have jumped back on your pet since the last application or use of the medication. Please contact your veterinarian for recommendations on which medication is best for your pet. This method is the best way to clear a flea infestation, and to prevent reoccurrence. The second part is to give your pet a bath, using diluted Dawn dish soap. Use regular, watered down Dawn, and be careful not to get it in your pet’s eyes, ears, or mouth.

Lastly, vacuuming carpet, floors, furniture, and laundering bedding is sufficient to reduce most of the flea eggs and larva from the environment. If any remaining fleas survive to fully develop, these fleas will be killed once they feed on your pet for the first time. Use these tips to help keep your pet and home flea-free!

Dr. Nick Bauer

Do Microchips Work?

Ask the owner of “Trixie”*, a large but adorable great dane, and she’ll tell you that they absolutely work! “Trixie” was brought into our clinic by a good Samaritan who found her walking down the sidewalk near a busy street. She had a collar on but no tags. Being the friendly dog she is, Trixie jumped into the good Samaritan’s car and she brought her here. We scanned her for a chip…. and hurray! She had one! Our receptionist contacted the manufacturer of her chip and we got a phone number for her owner. Trixie and her owner were reunited quickly and life was good again.

According to www.homeagain.com, 1 in 3 pets go missing. A microchip can help get them home safely. The presence of a chip can double the chances of getting your dog home to you and can increase the likelihood of your cat getting back home by over 20 times!

There are several different brands and services for microchips available but in general, microchips are glass encased, inert, digitalized chips that are inserted into the space under the skin and between the shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique ID number associated with it that identifies your pet. Make sure that the chip you choose is a universal chip so it can be read by any universal scanner.

Often if you adopt or purchase a pet they may already have a chip. It is key that you check to make sure the chip is registered with your information! Nothing is more frustrating than scanning a lost pet, finding a chip, but still not being able to find the owner because it was never registered! It is also imperative that you update the information on the registry if you move or change your phone number.


My pet wears a collar and tags. Unfortunately, collars break and tags get lost or become worn such that they are un-readable.

My cat is inside only. But my dog only goes in the yard to potty. Humans are not perfect and gates and doors can be left open by kids, workers etc.

How expensive are microchips? Considering the technology involved, the benefits are priceless! For less than $100, your pet can be implanted with a chip and receive lifetime registration in the lost pet registry.

August 15, 2017, is national Check Your Chip Day! This is a great opportunity to have your pet scanned to identify whether a chip is present. If there is a chip, check the registry to make sure it’s updated. If there is not a chip, then let’s do it! Inserting a microchip can be done as an outpatient procedure. It’s fast and could save your pet’s life.

*Pet name has been changed