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Dr. Edsall’s vet page: Your guide to healthy and happy pets 


I am Dr. David Edsall, a local veterinarian. Welcome to my vet page! This page is intended to help you care for your pets and make their lives healthy, fun and safe.

Keeping Pets Safe as Spring Approaches

With spring on its way, you should consider some of the things that come along with warmer weather and endanger our pets, like fleas and ticks, foxtails and rattlesnakes. Hopefully, these tips can help you prevent an expensive trip to the vet this summer!

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are present throughout the year, but they thrive in warm weather. Don’t dismiss the significant issues these tiny pests can cause! Fleas can cause anemia and uncomfortable itching, and they can pass along tapeworms. One tick bite can transmit numerous dangerous diseases.

Prevention medications are the best way to keep fleas and ticks away from your pets. Your animal hospital likely runs specials on flea and tick preventatives during the spring, so ask them for ways you can save. Even if your pets are on flea and tick preventative medications, you should still check them for fleas and ticks regularly. Make sure to check in and around their ears, near the base of their tails and between their toes. If you spot a tick on your pet and choose to remove it yourself, be careful and make sure you remove the whole tick.


Foxtails sprout this time of year and they pose a substantial threat to your pet’s health. The barbed ends—the seeds—can easily lodge into the skin or exploit any opening. Since our pets’ bodies can’t break down foxtail seeds, these needle-like barbs can cause serious infections and health complications. They most commonly attach to the feet (especially between the toes) and embed in pets’ noses, ears and eyes.

To keep foxtails from being an issue for your pets, keep pets out of tall grasses and remove foxtail plants from your yard. If your pet is outside a lot, groom or brush them regularly. Most importantly, if there is any chance your pets can get into foxtails; check their ears, mouths, noses, between their toes and around the base of their tails regularly.


Like all cold-blooded animals, rattlesnakes are more active in the hotter seasons. Rattlesnakes like to bask in the sun most days, so you could encounter one while out walking the dog. Rattlesnake venom is extremely dangerous to pets, and it causes excessive swelling and death of the tissue surrounding the bite wound.

Rattlesnake bites should be treated immediately at an emergency veterinary hospital, even if your pet has a rattlesnake vaccination. To keep your pet safe from rattlesnakes, always remain on designated paths. Look out for rattlesnakes, as they blend in with mountain terrain, listen for the sound of their tails shaking, and keep your pet on a leash and out of any brush.

Welcome Woods Humane Society!

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to welcome Woods Humane Society to North County. They have recently expanded to Atascadero in a partnership with North County Humane Society. This is an exciting time for humane societies, potential new pet parents and homeless pets looking for their forever homes. Welcome to North County! We’re so glad you’re here. You can contact them at www.WoodsHumaneSociety.org or call (805) 466.5403

David Edsall, DVM is owner and veterinarian at Las Tablas Animal Hospital in Templeton. If you have any questions, please call our office at (805) 369-2222, send us an email at [email protected] or stop by during business hours at 959 Las Tablas Road in Templeton.



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