Parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms are some of the biggest threats and common problems that pets may suffer from. Parasites are a serious issue and exist within almost every environment; causing sickness, pain and even death in some cases. Taking year round preventative steps to ensure parasites do not inflict on your pet’s health or your home is a necessity.
More details on common parasites, treatment and prevention can be found below:
- Fleas: These pesky insects inhabit the skin and coat of both dogs and cats. Fleas are most pervasive in the summer and fall, although they are known to be present year round. They can cause itchy, irritating bites, allergies, Bartonella, tapeworms and more. In severe cases, fleas can lead to anemia and even death to the affected animal. Controlling a flea infestation as soon as possible is extremely important since a female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. The best way to prevent a flea infestation is with continuous, year-round preventative medication and regular grooming.
- Ticks: Ticks can be found in grassy or wooded areas, and are known to cause serious disease with a painful bite, including Lyme disease, tick paralysis, ehrlichiosis, and more. It is important to inspect your pet thoroughly after spending time outside and to keep up with continuous, year-round preventative medication.
- Heartworms: Heartworms are an internal parasite. With just one mosquito bite, heartworm larvae can be introduced to your pet’s body; and without proper prevention the larvae will invade the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and grow into adult, foot-long heartworms. Over time, heartworms cause serious and irreversible organ damage that is fatal. Keep in mind, pets show little signs of infection until disease progression is severe. Prevention is critical as treating heartworms is time-consuming, difficult, and expensive. Year-round prevention is the best medicine!
- Intestinal Parasites: Other internal parasites that are common in pets include roundworm, whipworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Although it’s possible for pets to be infected with these internal parasites at any point in their life, puppies and kittens are most susceptible because their immune systems are not fully developed. If your pet tests positive for intestinal parasites, they will be placed on deworming medication. Year-round preventative medication is the only surefire way to prevent intestinal parasites in your pet, no matter their age.