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Q: Is there a natural way to control fleas? I have heard that brewer's yeast and garlic can help.

A: A number of products are available that claim to naturally control fleas. These products also may make claims of controlling intestinal parasites, boosting immune systems, improving cardiac function and more.

There is no medical evidence that brewer's yeast or garlic control fleas. In fact garlic may be harmful to your pet. Garlic (and onion and even broccoli) is known to destroy red blood cells (oxidative hemolytic anemia) and could even be fatal.

Be careful what supplements you give to your pet.

Numerous new and highly-effective flea control products are available that are proven safe for pets. Yes, these products are not natural. But fleas are natural, and so are the associated diseases such as tapeworms and Cat Scratch Disease that fleas can transmit to your pets.

Sometimes natural is not all it is cracked up to be.

Prepared as a public service by the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society. Send questions to Pets, P.O. Box 1252, Buffalo, N.Y. 14205 or to the Web site at Sorry, personal replies cannot be provided.

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