As the weather heats up outside and you break out the mosquito repellant and citronella candles, are you considering proper parasite protection for your pet? Insects such as mosquitos, ticks and fleas can be more than just a nuisance to your furry friends. These tiny insects can carry diseases – some even fatal. Here are the things you should know about why we highly recommend parasite prevention!
Heartworm is a disease carried by mosquitos and can be deadly to your pet, yet is 100% preventable.. The cost of monthly preventatives is much less than the cost of treating heartworm disease once your pet is already infected, which can amount to hundreds to thousands of dollars. In addition to the cost, your pet suffers the health consequences from not being protected. As an added bonus, heartworm prevention medications also contain medications that treat intestinal parasites, some of which are transmittable to humans. So why not protect your pet, and yourself?
Ticks carry numerous diseases that are harmful to your pet’s health. Some of these diseases, such as lyme disease, anaplasmosis, rocky mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and bartonellosis can cause permanent health problems. Not only can ticks transmit these diseases to your pet, but they can also transmit them to you. Although ticks do not usually leave their food source (your pet), to find another food source (you), we would much rather be safe than sorry!
Fleas are responsible for diseases such as cat scratch fever and tapeworm infestation. Many pets are hypersensitive to flea bites and just one bite can cause an allergic reaction. This type of reaction can result in your pet suffering from red, irritated skin, causing them to feel itchy and scratch repeatedly. Severe scratching can lead to skin infections and major discomfort.
Cats and dogs who are indoor only, are still exposed to insects and parasites that can make their way into your living space on other pets, people or through open doors and windows. Ferrets, rabbits, and other pocket pets are at risk for these parasites, as well.
How can you tell if your pet may be infected?
Signs of infection from these parasites can take months to appear and are not always obvious until the infection is severe. Changes in appetite, physical activity, water consumption, alertness and skin/ coat are causes for concern. If your pet has been exposed, it is important to treat the existence of any parasites as soon as possible and to have your pet tested if you are concerned about possible illness and disease.
What options are there for my pet’s parasite prevention?
There are numerous parasite prevention options available, which include: chewable tablets and/or soft-chews and topical liquids. Some of these preventatives can treat multiple types of parasites and some products can be given as little as 4 times per year.
It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine which parasite preventatives are best for your pet and your household.
Please give us a call if you have any questions about the parasite prevention medications that we carry. We are happy to help!