Shaggy the golden doodle has it all. Beauty, brains, and...fleas? He's the latest victim of an infestation. And the fleas-ing of our pets: "I sprayed his whole body, that helped. And then last night we found two fleas on him," said Todd Inslee, Shaggy's owner.
At Ravenna Animal Hospital, veterinarian Carina Nacewicz says all the itching and scratching is testing their patients' patience: "It's getting bad. Probably the worst year I've seen in the past eight years or so."
Today Nacewicz combs through Monkey the cat for evidence of an invasion: "A very common area where you'll see the most irritation from fleas tends to be right near the tail."
The culprit? Mild weather. The fleas thrive in it. And we've been stuck in it since last winter.
"Then you get a lot of building up in the environment and in the wildlife populations," said Nacewicz. "I would say in the past three weeks in particular, I've seen probably three to four times what I'd consider the average number of cases of fleas."
Inslee says he's tried everything, with dogged determination. The next stop for Shaggy - the bathtub: "Three treatments in a month. Flea Spray. Now I've got the flea shampoo and it's not going away."
Adam Eisenberg has seen the signs in 14-year-old Smudge.
"I know when he starts scratching and itching. He hasn't been around that many dogs but he actually has gotten fleas this year," said Eisenberg.
Eisenberg says until now, fleas have been an uncommon occurrence in Smudge. But veterinarians say dogs aren't the only carriers. People can pick up flea dust just by being outside and then they track it inside their homes.
There are several treatments available. Talk to your veterinarian for the best one for your pet - More information