Pet Care: Controlling Fleas, Pregnancy in Cats, Homemade Dog Food and Removing Ticks

Veterinarian Andrea Looney answers readers questions on ridding dogs of fleas and ticks, helping a cat give birth and making dog food at home.

| August/September 1993

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    The most helpful thing you can do for a cat that's delivering is to leave it alone.
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    The doctor is in: Veterinarian Looney answers reader's questions.
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    Don't let irritating fleas give your dog the summertime blues.

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Think back to the time of living with your parents, of birthday celebrations, family meals, and holiday gatherings. You can probably recall most, if not all, of the places and individuals involved. What's even nicer is that nine times out of 10 a certain four-legged friend appears in these familiar images. As I write this article, the veterinary staff and I are in the throes of one of our busiest seasons of the year, which incidentally commences with "Be Kind to Pets Month." Puppies and kittens appear left and right; heart worm and flea season is at its height; families, including the dog and cat—often even the bird and hamster—are heading out on their summer vacations.

Even though late summer is one of the busiest seasons, it also happens to be one of my favorites. I suppose that's because it brings to light and reaffirms this one simple fact: Pets are more than just simple members of the family. Anyone who's had a pet appreciates the unconditional love and loyalty they offer. Often the understanding and responsibility that children take on from caring for a pet spills directly onto their relationships with siblings and peers.

So here's hoping that the summer strengthens all your familial ties and brings you new memories to become nostalgic about. I know the joy I derive from reading your letters, which often show me just how much a part of the family your pets actually are. This always furthers my belief in the overwhelming value of the human—animal bond.

Dear Andrea:  

I have a puppy with a flea problem and I'm interested in some remediesperhaps in herbal or collar form. I could use any suggestions you have for controlling these pests.  

Cindy Phifer
Morganton, NC

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