Vaccines are an excellent way to protect your pet from infectious diseases, but they can’t keep parasites at bay. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are emerging en masse to enjoy the warm weather and snack on our pets, and the only way to deter them is with preventatives specifically designed to repel and kill.
If you are not familiar with common pet parasites, you may be wondering why prevention is so important. We would be happy to show you!
Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitoes
These parasites are certainly irritating, but they are more than just irritating for our pets. In fact, our primary concern with these bugs is their ability to transmit diseases to our furry friends.
Fleas can trigger flea allergic dermatitis, an allergic reaction to flea bites. In addition, they can transmit tapeworm if they happen to be ingested by an animal. Tapeworms are an intestinal parasite that do not cause any notable outward symptoms, but they do deprive their hosts of important nutrients.
Ticks are more insidious. They can spread Lyme disease, which causes inflammation of the joints, fever symptoms and lethargy, and ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Furthermore, they can cause a condition known as tick bite paralysis, which literally results in the victim becoming temporarily paralyzed. If you see a tick on your pet, remove it immediately and with care to ensure the entire tick has been pulled out. Gently clean and disinfect the bite area, and contact our hospital for further instructions.
Mosquitoes are not inherently dangerous, but they can transmit heartworm to dogs and cats. Heartworm disease is a condition in which microfilaria (larvae) are transmitted from the parasite into the host and travel through the bloodstream to the heart. There, they anchor themselves and continue to grow. They can cause severe damage to the heart, which may prove fatal. Heartworm disease is very costly and difficult to treat, which is why our doctors recommend year-round heartworm prevention. The cost of prevention is far lower than the cost of treatment.
Preventatives We Offer
Our hospital always carries the latest, highest-quality parasite preventatives for dogs and cats. We are currently offering:
- Simparica – a fast-acting flea and tick preventative for dogs
- Interceptor – protects dogs from heartworms and intestinal parasites
- Revolution – a 5-in-1 preventative that protects cats from fleas, heartworms, ear mites and intestinal parasites
You are always welcome to stop in for your pet’s preventatives. If you have any questions for us, please call (330) 836-1971.