Is your pet currently on a
parasite prevention regimen?
Fleas, ticks, heartworms and other parasites can have harsh consequences on your pet’s health and quality of life, which is why at Wishing Well Veterinary Hospital, we recommend having your dog or cat undergo lab testing each year and establish a monthly preventative plan. These measures are vital to protecting your pet from parasites and the illness and disease they can cause.
What Intestinal Parasites Often Affect Pets?
Intestinal parasites are transmitted to pets through their eggs which can be unknowingly tracked indoors or found outdoors in the dirt. Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and giardia are known to infect pets in our area, despite not always provoking noticeable symptoms. We recommend testing for intestinal parasites at least twice a year to ensure your pet has optimal protection or receives prompt treatment upon infection.
How Do Fleas and Ticks Affect Pets?
Fleas and ticks are the most common external parasites affecting dogs and cats and are frequently found in outdoor environments such as in yards, patios, dog parks or on walks. Indoor pets are also at risk, due to potential spread from other infected animals or external parasites entering the home on the clothes or shoes of humans. In addition to spreading certain diseases including Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease, fleas and ticks can also cause more visible symptoms like itching, hair loss, allergies, anemia and skin infection. Preventing these uncomfortable side effects and diseases should be a year round concern. All pets should receive monthly flea and tick prevention chewable or topical medication. Your veterinarian can discuss the best option for your pet at your next visit.
What are Heartworms?
Heartworms are a type of parasitic roundworm that can affect your pet’s heart and become deadly if not provided with the appropriate heartworm treatment. Heartworm disease presents through various symptoms in both dogs and cats including:
- Vomiting (cats)
- Fatigue after moderate activity (dogs)
- Lack of appetite
- Reluctance to exercise (dogs)
- Weight loss
- Asthma attacks (cats)
If your dog or cat exhibits any of these symptoms we may recommend a blood test to confirm a heartworm disease diagnosis. Additional testing and diagnostics may need to be performed including X-rays or an echocardiogram if the heartworm antigen is not significantly present to be detected by a simple blood test for an accurate diagnosis. Mosquitos are the usual method of transmission from animal to animal, however not all mosquitos carry heartworm disease. Although heartworms cannot survive in the human bloodstream, heartworm prevention is essential to your pet’s well-being.