Why Is Parasite Prevention Necessary?
You want what’s best for your pet, and so do we! That’s why we recommend that all of our patients be kept on parasite control throughout the year, every year. Parasites are an ongoing problem that, unfortunately, will never go away. However, we can mitigate their overall effect on our patients’ lives by providing quality parasite preventatives to keep them under control. Parasites can spread disease, weaken your pet’s immune system and cause severe skin conditions. They can also invade your home and cause serious problems for your family members.
Parasites You Should Be Concerned About
Fleas, ticks and heartworms (transmitted by mosquitoes) are the parasites your pet is most likely to encounter during their lifetime.
Fleas: These bouncy pests may be tiny, but flea infestations can get out of control very quickly. Their ability to jump distances approximately 50-100 times their own body length enables them to move from host to host relatively easily. Fleas can spread tapeworm if they happen to be infected and are ingested by an animal. Additionally, fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis, one of the most common skin diseases in pets.
Ticks: Ticks are arachnids that spend their short lives looking for hosts. There are various species of ticks, including the Brown dog tick, the American dog tick, the black-legged tick, the Lone star tick, and the Deer tick. They can be hard to detect, especially if they burrow into your pet’s fur. They can spread Lyme disease, which causes fever, lameness (due to inflamed joints) and lethargy in pets. Ticks can also transmit anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, which can affect humans, too.
Heartworms: If an infected mosquito bites an animal and takes a blood meal, they can spread heartworm larvae into the host. These microfilaria will eventually make their way through the bloodstream and into the heart, where they anchor themselves and grow. Heartworm disease is costly to treat and can still leave your pet with a weakened heart. Left untreated, it can be fatal.
We recommend the following parasite control products to keep pets healthy and protected:
- ProHeart-6 – a 6-month injectable heartworm preventative for dogs
- Heartgard Plus – a monthly chewable heartworm preventative for dogs
- Trifexis – a monthly tablet that protects dogs from fleas, heartworms and intestinal parasites
- Revolution – a monthly topical that protects cats from fleas, heartworms, roundworms, hookworms and ear mites
Be sure to ask us about our recommended tick prevention, too. If you have any questions about parasites or keeping your pet protected, call us today at (281)-486-1509.