Doctor's Corner

About Fleas

• Flea saliva is considered one of the most irritating substances on earth.

• Fleas are capable of transmitting disease to humans and pets.

• Fleas have changed history. As carriers of bubonic plague, fleas were responsible for killing one third of Europe in the 14th century.

• A female flea consumes 15 times its body weight in blood daily.

• More than 2,400 flea species exist worldwide.

• Fleas reproduce rapidly at room temperature, making your home, pet and carpet the perfect year round environment.

• You may not see fleas, but they are in your environment. Check for flea fecal matter, oval flacks at the base of your pet's tail. Fecal matter contains blood, which turns red when placed on a moist towel. Winter in the Northwest doesn't get cold enough to eliminate flea problems.

Backyard Wildlife, Proper Respect, and Aid Help the Environment and Woodland Health


It’s hard to think of the big picture in regards to our backyard neighbors. Feeding birds and not feeding squirrels or chipmunks eliminates care of an important piece of the outdoor wildlife puzzle. As backyard caretakers, we should try to take into consideration all the wildlife.

In removing trees form property to make room for a lawn, animal pasture or outdoor buildings, we have had an effect on the original occupants.

This absence of trees and brush could encompass the entire food source of a squirrel, bunny or chipmunk in its territory. Moving to another territory for the unfortunate animal, is not an option. No animal in the adjoining territory will let the invading creature eat the food in their territory. So the ousted animal from your backyard will probably die of starvation or winter harsh elements.

Indigenous Squirrels (Red and Douglas) are of great significance in the restoration of the tree population. These small squirrels harvest the pine cones for their cache, at the same time the cache (stored food) are future trees planted by these little gardeners. Trees depend on these caretakers in exchange for the food source the trees give to the squirrels to stay alive.

In observing squirrels eat, they work very hard on a pinecone for relatively little food. Many pinecones are needed to sustain one squirrel. Loss of trees will mean loss of life. A positive thought for the property owners who choose to provide food for wildlife. Squirrels drop most of the food on the ground for smaller animals and birds to share.

Squirrels love vegetables, fruit and lettuce. Sharing this type of food is fine. However, it is perishable. Give small amounts so the squirrels will perceive this as a treat and eat it right away and will not try to store it.

It takes some skill to feed the backyard wildlife. Consider planning areas to feed birds and wildlife that will not interfere with the human lifestyle or pets that can fatally harm these small creatures. Consider a place that keeps food dry, as to not rot. Once food is out, remember to check and restock feeders.

Healthy Reasons to Own (or Adopt) a Pet


Has your blood pressure dropped to within normal range? Are you feeling less stressed? Have you conquered your loneliness, regained your self-confidence? To some extent, you can thank your pet, some behavior experts say.

“In our fast-paced lives, animals are companions that offer great psycho-social benefits of love and companionship without too many demands,” says Allen Schoen, DVM, M.S., director of the Veterinary Institute for Therapeutic Alternatives.

Many of us are already aware of the studies, which have shown how pets help lower a person’s blood pressure, improve heart conditions, and melt away stress. We can attest to the times our pets have acted with compassion, good humor, and friendship as our guardian angels, muses, alarm clocks or heating pads. But here are some fact you may not know:

Seniors who own animals go the the doctor less than those who do not (Siegel, 1990)

Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than non-owners. (Anderson, 1992)

Companionship of pets helps children in families adjust better to serious illness and death of a parent, or divorce. (Raveis, 1993)

Medication costs dropped from an average of $3.80 per patient per day to just $1.18 per patient per day in new nursing home facilities in New York, Missouri and Texas that have animals and plants as an integral part of the environment. (Montague, 1995)

Having a pet may decrease heart attack mortality by 3%. This translates into 30,000 lives saved annually. (Friedman, 1980)

Submitted by Kitsap Humane Society, reprinted courtesy Debbie Marion, A Country Veterinary Clinic, Belfair, Washington

You know you’ve lost control when you start making these exceptions!

1. The dog is not allowed in the house.

2. The dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.

3. The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.

4. The dog can get on the old furniture only.

5. Fine, the dog is allowed on the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with humans on the bed.

6. Okay, the dog is allowed on the bed but only by invitation.

7. The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he wants, but not under the covers.

8. The dog can sleep under the covers, but only by invitation.

9. The dog can sleep under the covers every night.

10. Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the dog.

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