Fleas, ticks, worms, and mosquitoes: it’s important you protect your pet from these pests and the problems they can cause for both animal and human family members:
- Fleas – can trigger dermatitis, tapeworm, anemia, hot spots and infest a home
- Intestinal worms – cause illness and can also infect humans
- Ticks – can transmit numerous dangerous illnesses to both pets and people, including Lyme disease
- Mosquitoes – carry potentially deadly heartworm, which is on the rise nationwide.
In addition to preventive medications, you should thoroughly check your pets for fleas and ticks if they’ve been outdoors.
Some worms can be detected in your pet’s stool, although others cause different symptoms. Intestinal worms are usually easy to eliminate with medication but left untreated, they can eventually make your pet very ill.
Heartworm from mosquitoes is potentially deadly for pets and often there are no symptoms until the disease is well advanced. Currently, there is treatment for dogs, but it can be expensive and very hard on your pet.
Flea Prevention And Control
Fleas are little blood suckers that can cause problems not only for your pet, but for you and your home as well. Hot spots, dermatitis, tapeworm and anemia are some of the risks a pet faces when they are infested with fleas. An adult female flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day and once they are in your home, eradicating them can be a tedious proposition. Your best bet is to prevent your pet from getting them in the first place.
How do you know if your pet has fleas? Itching and scratching, of course—but you can also see evidence of fleas if you lift your pet’s fur and find tiny black specks called “flea dirt”, which are really flea feces. Were you to wet some of these specks, they will turn red because they’re made of your pet’s blood.
Dogs and cats can share the same fleas and these pests can travel from one animal to another, so it’s important that all the pets in your household are on a flea preventive. Successful flea control will include treating both your pets, their living areas, and your household.
Your Plattsburgh Animal Hospital veterinarian can recommend environmental flea treatments and preventives that work for your pet and your budget.
According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, the incidence of heartworm across the country is up. As you may already know, potentially deadly heartworm is spread by mosquitoes, and it only takes one bite to infect a pet. Once infected, heartworm can do severe damage to a pet’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
Sadly, many animals don’t show symptoms until the disease is advanced. At that time, symptoms may include coughing, fatigue, weight loss and a swollen abdomen. While cats are much less likely to be susceptible to full-on heartworm infection, they can suffer from a heartworm-related respiratory condition that is very difficult to diagnose.
While there is heartworm treatment available for canines, it is expensive and can be very hard on your pet. There is currently no treatment for cats.
As always, the best treatment is prevention! Our veterinarians advise keeping your pet on heartworm preventive year-round. Be advised if your pet has not previously been on heartworm preventive, he or she will need a heartworm test before starting on one.
At Plattsburgh Animal Hospital, we believe prevention is always the best treatment! We carry many different types of flea, tick, and heartworm preventive and many of them also prevent some intestinal worms. Our veterinarians can help you choose which one is right for your pet. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 518-566-7387.