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.
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.
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-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 constrictive blood flow and potential heart failure. Annual heartworm testing, a simple test that yields result in minutes, is recommended as part of your dog’s wellness visit.
Internal parasites are easily diagnosed through a fecal test at the annual wellness visit. You may suspect intestinal parasites if your pet has a change in stools or is scooting or scratching at the hindquarters. If you suspect your pet has worms, however, do not attempt to treat it yourself. Various types of worms respond to specific medications, and some over-the-counter products can harm your pet. Your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate medication for the type of parasite identified. Treatment is typically an oral medication—simple and relatively inexpensive.
Parasite Prevention Plan
Regular use of anti-parasitic medication is your best defense for keeping your pet parasite free. Wignall Animal Hospital recommends year-round parasite prevention; fluctuations in the New England climate can allow for a resurgence of parasite activity. It is a myth that parasite control is only needed in spring and summer. The best way to protect your pet from being exposed to 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.