Pet Parasites: Take Control Before They Take Over

SONY DSC If you are the responsible owner of a puppy or kitten, you know that the right vaccinations and proper nutrition help enormously when it comes to a positive head start in life. As does dental care, following exercise recommendations and safety precautions, and showing up to your pet’s wellness exam,. But a major component to the successful wellness and preventive approach is screening for, and managing, pet parasites.

Fleas, ticks, and heartworms cause more than aggravation – and your pet won’t suffer alone. Your family and other pets are at risk, as well. Fleas, ticks, and the mosquitoes that spread heartworm disease are responsible for a whole lot of pain, discomfort and can even affect your your pet’s lifespan. Luckily, there are ways you can protect your pet from parasites, and we’ll help you get started.

Flea and Tick Control

Flea infestations are anything but pleasant; if you see one, chances are there are dozens at various stages in their life cycle throughout your home, on your property, and feeding on your pet. One female can lay up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime, all causing your poor pet certain misery.

Last September, our Bravecto blog detailed the benefits of this unique flea and tick preventative and, if you haven’t tried it yet, we are happy to get your dog started right away.

Your pet can pick up fleas or ticks from his or her regular environment. Although, ticks typically  inhabit wooded areas, they can find their way into your backyard via other animals or even on your own clothes (if you’ve just returned from a hike, for example). Keep your lawn trim and maintained, and create a gravel or mulch border between your yard and any surrounding woods.

To combat fleas and ticks:

  • Inspect your pet’s skin and coat daily, or immediately  upon returning from a major outing
  • Vacuum throughout your home frequently
  • Wash your pet’s bedding once a week
  • Bathe your pet and closely brush out his or her fur
  • Talk to us about finding the correct flea and tick preventative

Fleas and ticks are nuisances all year long and their dastardly natures include the spread of disease and other parasites. Flease can carry parasites, such as tapeworms, and diseases, like the plague, that can spread to your pet and your family, as well. Ticks can infect their hosts with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and other vector-borne illnesses.

Protection From Heartworm Disease

Dogs are the natural host for heartworms, but cats can also become infected. Since there isn’t currently an approved feline treatment, and the treatment for dogs is both expensive and risky, it’s important that you protect both species with a monthly preventative. One bite from an infected mosquito will seal your pet’s fate, so it’s important to properly manage mosquito exposure in and around your pet.

  • Limit time spent outdoors at dawn and dusk
  • Repair window and door screens if any holes are present
  • Pour out any standing water that accumulates after you water the lawn or following a storm
  • Watch your pet closely for any changes in behavior, eating/drinking habits, or exercise
  • Pet Parasites – Prevention Counts

While the spring and summer months take on a tone of urgency regarding pets parasites, it remains critical to keep up prevention methods throughout the year. Please call us with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health and wellbeing, or schedule your pet’s next appointment to get a jump start on the season’s parasite prevention.