They’re creepy. They’re crawly. They have the potential to infect our pets with dangerous diseases. In case you didn’t know, we’re talking about parasites, specifically fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes that carry heartworm. As spring bursts into bloom, pet parasite prevention becomes more important than ever. The team at Mobile Vet MD has the tools you need to keep your pet safe all year long.
Most pet owners would agree that fleas are more than just a nuisance. Infestations are typically labor intensive to treat and often require professional assistance. Aside from being annoying, fleas also pose health risks to our pets.
A serious allergic reaction to flea saliva (also called flea allergy dermatitis) is common among pets and can cause extreme itching and the development of hot spots on the skin. Fleas can also transmit tapeworm, bartonella (cat scratch fever), and plague. They can cause anemia in older pets or immunocompromised pets as well.
Ticks are well known harbingers of diseases that affect both pets and people. Among the more well known are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis.
In addition to keeping your pet on a year-round tick preventive, be sure to inspect them carefully after being outdoors. Remove any ticks you find by pulling them out slowly with a pair of tweezers, gripping as close to the skin as possible.
Heartworm is arguably one of the most devastating diseases your pet can contract from a parasite. Heartworms are transmitted to pets via a mosquito that has fed on an infected animal. Once inside a pet’s body, the microscopic worms invade the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels. There they grow and wreak havoc on internal organs over the course of months or years. Treatment for dogs is expensive and painful. For cats, the disease is almost always fatal, as there’s no effective treatment currently on the market.
The Importance of Pet Parasite Prevention
Pet parasite prevention is as simple as keeping your pet on a monthly preventive all year long. In addition, you can discourage fleas, ticks, and wildlife that carry pests by keeping grasses and bushes trimmed and removing any piles of wood or brush. Mosquitos can lay eggs in even a tiny amount of standing water, so make sure to remove any puddles you find outside your home.
If your pet has not been tested for heartworm in the past year or is in need of a refill on parasite prevention medication, please contact the staff at Mobile Vet MD.