Parasite Prevention is as Easy as 1-2-3

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Parasite prevention can help to ensure that your dog or cat is healthy and happy and as pet owners, that’s the most important thing about having our furry friends.  With summer quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to take the steps to keeping them free of the top parasites your pets are are risk of having.

FLEAS and TICKS

Fleas and ticks are blood-drinking parasites that can transmit serious diseases to both dogs and cats.  Ticks can transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella-the bacteria that cause cat-scratch fever in humans.  Preventing fleas and ticks from infesting your pet is much easier and less expensive than treating an existing tick or flea problem.

Prevention: Monthly flea and tic treatments, flea and tick collars, and flea and tick shampoos and sprays.

HEARTWORMS

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, and can infect dogs and cats.  Even indoor pets aren’t completely safe from heartworms: 25% of heartworm-infected cats live completely indoors.  Heartworms damage the heart and lungs and can even cause death!  Areas of where heartworm infestations are more prevelant are along coastal regions, where swamps or other brackish water provide ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

Heartworms restrict blood flow and cause organ damage and symptoms include coughing, labored breathing, and heart failure.  If left untreated, heartworm disease can kill both dogs and cats.

Prevention: Since mosquitoes have a flight range of a quarter mile, spraying around your yard and removing standing water can be partially effective.  Other ways to prevent heartworm come in the form of monthly prevention programs which you should talk to your veterinarian about.

INTESTINAL PARASITES

Roundworms, hookworms, and other intestinal parasites can cause serious illness in pets and some of these parasites are even transmissible to humans!  When left undetected or untreated, they cause serious health issues for your pet, including severe secondary bacterial infections.  Most parasites are easily detected, but some require laboratory testing to confirm a diagnosis.

Prevention: Monthly forms of prevention are available by talking with your veterinarian.

The best form of prevention for these top parasite problems is to take measures to keep your dogs and cats from coming in contact with the culprits.  Always talk to your veterinarian before beginning any monthly treatment or prevention of parasites.

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