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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Spring Weather Brings Special Challenges for Pets

Feb 28, 2019 05:29PM

Lawn chemicals and sprays, pesticides, herbicides, parasiticides poison and kill the intended plant or insect, but also us, our animals, our drinking water, our creeks, rivers and oceans. Every spring and summer, itchy paws and bellies and elevated liver enzymes start to show up. Our pets walk barefoot on these chemicals, roll around on them in the grass and eat the grass and soil; dried or not, they absorb them directly because they groom themselves, and then the liver has to detoxify them daily.

However, there are plenty of good, effective, environmentally and human- and animal-friendly alternatives. Nematodes, available on Amazon, combat fleas in the yard. But a healthy pet with healthy coat and skin generally do not attract fleas and ticks in the first place. Good diets include no highly processed dry kibble; these are very pro-inflammatory by their very nature, and whole, fresh foods as close to original form as possible. If the need arises to address fleas or ticks, start with repellents such as Vetri-Science Repel, which comes in a spray or wipe. For houses and bedding, diatomaceous earth works well.

Avoid anything that is injected into the animal’s body and lasts for six months, such as Proheart to prevent heartworms; it is devastating to their health. Stay away from anything that lasts a long time in the body and has multiple pesticides and parasiticides in it, such as Bravecto or Nexgard. These may lead to seizures, liver, and kidney disease in very young animals that should not have these issues or even cancer.

Heartgard, Sentinel, Interceptor, Capstar and Seresto collars all are products that have been around for many years and have proven safe when used as directed and as needed. Products such as Revolution and Advantage seem relatively safe if not used all year-round. When it comes to pesticides, parasiticides and herbicides, less or none is best whenever possible.


Kim Hombs, DVM, CVA, CVH, FAAVA, owns the Atrium Animal Hospital and Wellness Center, located at 6520 McMahon Dr., in Charlotte. For appointments, call 704-542-2000.

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