Parasite Prevention

Parasites do not always cause external symptoms, making 

REGULAR TESTING

and monthly preventative measures imperative.

Intestinal Parasites

Any pet can be affected by intestinal parasites. The eggs of these parasites, which infect pets, can be tracked into the home via the soles of your shoes and can even be found in brand new indoor plant potting soil—even “indoor only” pets are at risk. The parasites we typically see include roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, coccidia and giardia. All are very common in our area. In most instances, these parasites do not show outward obvious signs in pets, making testing and monthly preventatives imperative. In people, these parasites are not as well tolerated and can lead to serious disease, so treating and preventing infestations is paramount.

External Parasites - Fleas & Ticks

Fleas and ticks are common external parasites of dogs, cats, and other mammals. Fleas and ticks are transmitted animal to animal as well as through the environment. Many pets are exposed to fleas and ticks outside in yards, patios, dog parks or on walks. Humans can even bring fleas into their homes on their shoes and clothing. Fleas and ticks cause itching, hair loss, allergies, anemia, and skin infection. They can also transmit parasites, such as tapeworms, and serious diseases, such as Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. Due to our year-round warmer climate, pets should be on flea and tick prevention year-round. Remember: The key to preventing fleas and ticks is a monthly administration of a veterinary-prescribed and recommended maintenance program. Without consistent monthly administration, your pet will be susceptible to fleas. A flea problem on your pet means a flea problem in your home. Understanding the flea life cycle and methods for its control can be a daunting task. We will gladly assist you in this process. We can provide you with safe, effective flea prevention and if necessary, flea treatment.

Heartworms

Transmitted by mosquitoes, heartworms are a common and potentially deadly type of parasite. Symptoms include coughing, intolerance to exercise, lethargy, and possibly sudden death. Prevention and early detection are key when it comes to combating the serious disease caused by heartworms.

Common Heartworm FAQs

Heartworm disease is inoculated into your pet’s bloodstream by a bite from an infected mosquito and migrate to the heart. As adults they grow to 6-8 inches long and live in the heart.

The short answer is mosquitoes. Not all mosquitoes carry heartworm, but once a mosquito has bitten a heartworm positive animal, it can spread to the animal that it feeds on. Many times, a mosquito may feed on the blood of a coyote, a fox, or other canines. This is why our pets need continuous preventatives, as carrier mosquitoes could increase at any time.

In the early stages, many dogs may have no symptoms. However, the longer the infection persists, the more likely you’ll see your dog develop symptoms. Here are some of those symptoms:

  • Mild cough
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Fatigue after moderate activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss

There are a few ways that heartworms can be detected and diagnosed. 

The primary way it is diagnosed is based on blood tests. 

The short answer: PREVENTION! PREVENTION! PREVENTION! 

Administering a consistent prevention as recommended by your veterinarian. There are a few things that you can do to keep mosquitoes away from your pets, such as using screens or keeping windows and doors closed, or limiting any stagnant water. The most effective option is keeping up to date on preventative. 


What do you know about parasites?
Quiz
Heartworm disease is a threat to pets nationwide.
This is not correct. Heartworm has been diagnosed in all 50 states.
Correct! Heartworm has been diagnosed in all 50 states.
My dog can get heartworm from playing with another dog that has heartworm.
Correct! Heartworms can only be spread between pets through the bite of a mosquito.
This is not correct. Heartworms can only be spread between pets through the bite of a mosquito.
My cat isn't at risk for heartworm if they are an indoor cat.
This is not correct. 25% of infected cats were found to be considered "indoor" cats. Mosquito bites don't just happen outside of the house!
Correct! 25% of infected cats were found to be considered "indoor" cats. Mosquito bites don't just happen outside of the house!
Fleas and ticks are active during all seasons.
Correct! A common misconception is that fleas and ticks are inactive during fall and winter when they are actually active year-round.
This is not correct. A common misconception is that fleas and ticks are inactive during fall and winter when they are actually active year-round.
Fleas and ticks can be found in virtually every region of the US.
This is not correct. Living in a particular climate or region does not mean your pet has no risk of contracting fleas and ticks. Make sure your pet is protected!
Correct! Living in a particular climate or region does not mean your pet has no risk of contracting fleas and ticks. Make sure your pet is protected!
Itching is the only symptom of fleas and ticks.
This is not correct. Fleas and ticks can also carry a variety of diseases that could lead to health problems for your pet.
Correct! Fleas and ticks can also carry a variety of diseases that could lead to health problems for your pet.

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