Parasites are one of the biggest health threats that pets face, but they can be managed with proper treatment. Parasite prevention plays an important role in keeping pets resistant not only to the flea, tick, and mosquito’s bite, but to the diseases they can spread as well. At Warrick Veterinary Clinic in Boonville, we recommend full parasite protection for all dogs and cats, all year round.
While mosquitoes themselves are no danger, they can pass along diseases that can be. Heartworm disease is one such danger, and it threatens the safety of both dogs and cats.
It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to pass along heartworm larvae to your pet. These larvae will travel through your pet’s bloodstream and mature over time when they reach the heart and lungs. As they grow and multiply, they begin to block the major arteries and disturb the functioning of the heart and lungs. At its most advanced stage, heartworm disease can be fatal.
Ticks are becoming increasingly prevalent in the US. These tiny pests lie in wait for their hosts and if they latch onto your pet, they can be hard to find (and remove). The deer tick is the primary vector for Lyme disease, a condition that causes fever, swelling of the joints, lethargy, and decreased appetite in dogs. Overall, Lyme disease is treatable, but it can be life-threatening to pets that are elderly or have weakened immune systems.
Lyme disease is considered “zoonotic.” This means that ticks can infect both animals and humans with Lyme disease.
Roundworms, Tapeworms, and Other Intestinal Parasites
Intestinal worms are very common, and most puppies and kittens come to their first visit with some type of worm. This is why deworming is usually a part of a young pet’s first several vet appointments.
Infection can cause diarrhea and swelling of the abdomen. If the worms are shed in the stool, they can be spread to other animals (and sometimes people). If you notice that your pet has worms in their stool and/or chronic diarrhea, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.
Parasite Prevention is Safe and Easy
Our animal hospital offers a variety of tests to check pets for parasites, along with many different prevention options to keep them safe. Most preventatives come in chewable tablet or topical form, and must be given regularly for full protection. If you have questions or need help, just give us a call!