Parasites

Get rid of those pesky critters.

Your pet is an easy target for parasites and small insects. Common parasites like ticks, fleas and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes feed on your pets, potentially infecting them with many dangerous diseases. Discover how these tiny pests can cause big problems.

Fleas

These bloodsucking insects feed on mammals and lay eggs in their fur and your carpet. Fleas can transmit harmful parasites like tapeworms and murine typhus and can cause dermatitis and anemia. One flea can reproduce nearly 50 times a day, making a flea infestation a substantial threat to your pet’s well-being. Flea infestations often spread throughout your home, living in your carpet and furniture and making them tough to eradicate.

Ticks

New England is an endemic area for ticks and Lyme disease. Ticks can be found lurking anywhere in nature, including your backyard, dog parks, trails and wooded areas. They attach to your pet as well as to humans. Although small, the tick is one of the biggest dangers to your pet’s health. A single tick bite can carry a host of potentially fatal diseases including Lyme disease, typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis.

Although it is rare, animal-to-human transfer is possible, making the tick hazardous to you and your family. You should inspect yourself and your pet after any woodland activities.

Heartworm

Heartworm-carrying mosquitoes are a lethal danger to your pet. Once the mosquito’s bite transmits the heartworm larva to your pet, it slowly develops and makes its way toward the heart. Once there, it reproduces within your pet’s pulmonary artery, leading to constricted blood flow and potential heart failure. Annual heartworm testing, a simple test that yields results in minutes, is recommended as part of your dog’s wellness visit.

Parasite Prevention Plan

Regular use of anti-parasitic medication is your best defense against parasites. Wignall Animal Hospital recommends year-round parasite prevention; fluctuations in the New England climate can allow for a resurgence of parasite activity any time of year. It is a myth that parasite control is only needed in spring and summer. The best way to protect your pet from intestinal parasites is to adopt a year-round regiment. Consult your Wignall Animal Hospital veterinarian to determine the best parasite-control products for your pets.

Wignall Animal Hospital’s parasite prevention plan includes:

  • Pet examination and testing
  • Parasite-control product consultation with a Wignall Animal Hospital veterinarian
  • Access to industry-best medicine and equipment

Schedule an appointment immediately if you suspect that your cat or dog may already be infected.