Parasite Prevention for Pets: Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm

Most of us are glad winter has finally reached its end. But the cold weather does have its benefits. Just like many of us don’t like the cold, parasites don’t like it either. As a result, most pets don’t have as many parasite problems in winter. Granted, we still do see problems with fleas on indoor pets and, on the warm winter days, ticks can still find your pet, too.  But as spring warms up and we begin to thaw out, so do the bugs, making springtime parasite prevention for pets a must

Heartworm Disease and Prevention

Infected mosquitoes carry heartworms and, if they bite your dog or cat, they will transmit the disease into your pet’s bloodstream by laying eggs. These eggs will travel in the bloodstream and develop into worms that will end up in the vessels near the heart.

If there are enough worms, the end result can be life threatening heart disease or in cats lung problems can appear that resemble asthma. Indoor and outdoor pets are both at risk. All it takes is for one mosquito to get in the house and your pet is at risk. Mosquitoes like to bite animals with the highest body temperature. Dogs and cats have a higher body temperature than people, so they are more likely to get bit.

Thankfully, there is a way to prevent heartworm disease. A monthly preventative can be given to your pet. For cats, we recommend Revolution monthly, which treats heartworm disease, prevents flea problems, kills ear mites and prevents roundworms in the feces. For dogs, we recommend Sentinel, which treats heartworm disease, sterilizes fleas so they cannot reproduce and clears 3 intestinal parasites every month when it is given.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks love the warm weather as well. Ticks transmit three main diseases in this area; Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichia. All three diseases can be very serious and can impact your pet’s health.

We see these diseases primarily in dogs, as it is believed that cats are immune to tick-borne illnesses.  We recommend Advantix, a monthly topical application, and the Seresto collar, which lasts for eight months, as the best flea and tick preventative for dogs. For cats, we recommend the Seresto collar, which lasts for eight months and guards against fleas and ticks. We also recommend Revolution, a monthly flea and heartworm topical medication.

If you have not been using parasite prevention for pets, please call us as soon as possible to get the proper parasite prevention for your pet. Your pet’s life may depend on it.