Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. Fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they’ve already found their way inside. Call us to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a preventive today. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.
Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection when they bite, and those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.
In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure). Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure). Without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.
Cats can also get heartworms. Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD). The symptoms can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting, are common. Other symptoms include coughing, vomiting (typically unrelated to eating), and loss of appetite or weight. Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.
Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention and can be fatal. There is no approved treatment for cats. Some cats spontaneously rid themselves of the infection; others might not survive it, and even one or two adult heartworms in a cat can cause serious problems.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to keep your dog or cat safe: by administering heartworm preventives. Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. We carry monthly chewables and topical preventions as well as injectable preventions that protect your pet for either 6 or 12 months. Call us for recommendations of the best regimen of prevention for your pet.
Ticks are becoming more and more prevalent in North America, and they’re now being found in areas where people and pets didn’t previously encounter ticks. These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious—and sometimes deadly—diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. These diseases can cause coughing, joint pain, trouble breathing, fever or weakness, or any loss of appetite, weight, energy, or coordination.
Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog or cat, even if your pet is on a prevention. Some preventives kill ticks after they’ve come in contact with your pet. Ticks can hide easily under your pet’s fur, so as an added measure of protection, we recommend checking your pet for ticks every time your pet comes in from outside.
The best method for keeping ticks off your pet is by keeping your dog or cat on a tick preventive. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing or shoes. Tick preventives are safe and highly effective at controlling ticks and the diseases they carry. Call us to get your pet protected today!