You can help keep your pet healthy by protecting him or her against parasites. Heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other parasites are much more than just pests; they can cause life-threatening diseases or conditions in your pet. They can also harm you and your family. We will recommend a preventive regimen for your pet based on lifestyle and risk factors. Set up an appointment with us to discuss parasite prevention, or call us to refill your pet’s medication. Protect your pet and your family today!
The most common intestinal parasites in dogs and cats include hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and coccidia. All of these organisms possess the ability to cause illness in your pet.
Most puppies and kittens have intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites, including worms, are harmful to your pets. A regular de-worming schedule is vital for puppies and kittens to protect them from intestinal parasites.
Puppies and kittens should be checked for intestinal parasites as early as 3 weeks of age and should begin their regular de-worming schedule at this time. Adult dogs and cats should be tested annually and de-wormed as necessary.
Helpful Hints to Protect Your Pet from Internal Parasites
- Annual fecal examinations
- Administer de-worming medication when needed
- Flea control products aid in prevention of Tapeworms
- Clean up your pet’s stool regularly
- Keep your pet away from other animals/pet’s feces
- Do not let your pets drink stagnant, standing or brackish water
Some symptoms of intestinal parasites are vomiting, coughing, anal irritation, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and weight loss. Pets with worms may not show any symptoms. We recommend fecal exams as a standard part of your pet’s wellness exam.
Heartworms are extremely dangerous parasitic worms that can easily infect dogs and cats. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites an animal, it transmits tiny heartworm larvae into their bloodstream. The larvae enter the new host and make their way under the skin. The larvae quickly grow into adult heartworms and invade the heart and lungs of the host. Heartworm disease is deadly if it is left untreated, causing heart failure.
Getting your dog started on a preventative is simple. During your pet’s next wellness exam, our trained staff will run a quick blood test to ensure that your pet is heartworm negative. Then we will provide you with the prescription medication of your choice. In order to abide by FDA regulations, we require a heartworm test once per year.
Heartworm Disease Symptoms
- Dysfunction of the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys
- Exercise intolerance
- Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
- Abnormal lung sounds
- Syncope ( loss of consciousness due to lack of blood flow to the brain)
- Abnormal heart sounds
Fleas and ticks
Fleas and ticks are bloodsucking parasites adept at inviting themselves into your home. Dogs and cats are the ideal hosts for these parasites. A female flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. Many people overlook the serious health problems that fleas and ticks can transmit to pets and humans.
Fleas and ticks can cause several serious health problems. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, a serious disease that can infect people too. Fleas can cause Flea Allergy Dermatitis, a type of allergy that causes excessive itching, scabs, sores and hair loss. Fleas can also carry Tape Worms, which can infect dogs, cats and humans after ingesting just one flea.
Helpful Hints to Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks
- Administer flea & tick preventative to all pets in your household every 30 days
- Only use a reputable Flea/Tick control
- Wash your pet’s bedding and favorite rugs regularly in hot, soapy water
- Mow your lawn frequently
- Vacuum regularly, then dispose of the vacuum bag immediately
- Treat your yard with flea and tick pest control
- If possible, keep your pets out of long grass and bushes
Do Indoor Pets Need Flea and Tick Prevention ?
Just because your indoor pet rarely leaves the confinement of your home, does not mean they are safe from fleas or ticks. Indoor pets are great hosts for fleas and ticks, and it only takes one flea to trigger a full blown infestation. Fleas and ticks can be passed on to your pet from your shoes, clothes, other pets, open doors, windows and small crevices.