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Preventing the Parasites That Can Harm Your Pet

From mosquitoes to fleas, parasites carry a wide range of illnesses that can become more than just an itchy problem. And, thanks to warmer and unpredictable winter weather, most parasites continue to thrive well beyond the summer months. This is why keeping your pet protected year-round is so important to health and safety.

Common External Parasites

Cat When we consider the problematic pests, many pet owners may immediately think of fleas and ticks. This is for good reason. Both fleas and ticks carry illnesses that are rife in our region.

These include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Tapeworms

Because fleas are able to lay so many eggs in a single day, a few stray fleas that find your dog or cat can turn into a full-blown infestation (both expensive and inconvenient to remedy) within a short amount of time.

Ticks, too, are known to continue their reproductive cycles through winter, posing many potentially serious or even fatal health risks.

Heartworm and Other Internal Parasites

Heartworm disease is caused by the bite of a mosquito and can lead to damage to a pet’s heart and lungs as the worms migrate there, mature, and reproduce. There are often no symptoms until the disease reaches a critical stage.

For this reason, we advocate for annual testing and a monthly preventive to be used year-round for dogs. Because no test exists for cats, preventive care is a must to prevent this dangerous disease.

If you have had a puppy or kitten come to visit us, you probably know that deworming is important for youngsters, as mothers pass these worms on to their offspring. But tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms can become a problem for a pet of any age, making screening an essential part of wellness.

Parasite Prevention Tailored for Your Pet

Depending on the lifestyle of your pet, parasite prevention is tailored to your pet. A monthly pill will control heartworm disease and internal parasites. Fleas and ticks are controlled by using either an oral pill once every 3 months, a topical product monthly, or a flea collar every 8 months. Our knowledgeable staff will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these products, to decide what is best for your pet.

For cats, topical Revolution®, applied monthly, will protect against heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, fleas, and ear mites.

Prevention is the key, and remains safer and less expensive than treating the diseases. To keep your pet safe and parasite-free, schedule an appointment with us.