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6/1/12 - Typhus: There was recently a confirmed case of typhus in nearby Santa Ana.  Typhus affects humans and is carried by fleas.  Symptoms include headaches, body aches, fever, and skin rashes.  A very easy way to help prevent the spread of typhus is to use proper flea prevention such as Frontline, Advantage, or Comfortis/Trifexis. 

4/13/12 - Foxtails:  Foxtails are coming into full bloom, and a serious hazard to your pets.  They can become lodged in the ears, nose, under the eyelids, and penetrate skin, even traveling to the spinal canal and lungs!  If you have them in your yard, please make every effort to remove them, and when taking them on walks, keep your pets from any exposure to foxtails.  This will keep your pets healthy, and also save you a lot of money.

4/6/12 - Treats: There has been some concern that pet treats not made in the U.S. (and in particular, from China) have been the cause of liver and kidney failure.  While I have not been aware of any formal recall, the anecdotes from different veterinarians around the country has me worried enough to recommend to my clients to only give treats that are made in the U.S.  Also, make sure that you distinguish between "Made" or "Manufactured" versus "Distributed."  I would not trust "Distributed" by itself.

 If you would like complete control over the ingredients of your dog's treats, an easy way to do so is to make them at home.  You can purchase whole chicken breasts (or use lowfat ground turkey), slice them as thin as possible, and bake them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 2 hours, turning them over after 1 hour.  No salt or seasoning is necessary.  Store in the refrigerator, or freeze anything that you won't use in about 2 weeks.  Cost should not be much more than purchasing the freeze-dried dog treats, and just requires a little effort.

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