With the arrival of spring, it is time to turn our attention to parasite detection and prevention. After a long winter, more than just the crocuses are waking up.
Fleas become more prevalent in the environment as the weather warms up. Detection is based on seeing either live fleas or flea dirt (black specks of blood) in the fur. You cannot go by scratching, as many pets with fleas are not bothered by them enough to be itchy. Prevention should start in June and go right up until November. Our prescription flea medications are highly effective, not only for preventing an infestation, but also for treating an existing problem.
Heartworm is a deadly disease that is spread by mosquitoes. Your dog can be infected for years before finally getting sick from these worms. Yearly screening is recommended and a simple blood test is all we need. We have both topical and oral medications to protect your pet during the transmission season.
Intestinal worms are picked up from the soil. They are spread in both cat and dog feces, and can concentrate where these animals congregate. Some intestinal parasites can also be a danger to children and people with compromised immune systems. We need a fresh stool sample to check your pet for these parasites. Most heartworm prevention programs include intestinal parasite deworming.
Ticks can be found in wooded areas and spaces with overgrown vegetation. They can transmit serious diseases and irritate the skin where they attach. If you walk your pet on the trails, get in the habit of checking the skin for any unusual bumps. If you think you’ve found a tick, call the clinic for further information. For at risk dogs, we have tick collars available as well as flea and tick combination products.