Pet Parasite Prevention
You have likely already had a conversation with your veterinarian about the importance of parasite prevention. Without it, harmful parasites can infect your pet and cause not only annoyance, but sickness and disease. The three most common pests include ticks, fleas, and heartworms. All of these require year-long prevention—yes, that means even through the winter, too!
Ticks are perhaps the more dreaded of the pests, considering they can affect our pets and us, too! The diseases they transmit include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and more, which can all cause further complications. Ticks are unfortunately active the whole year round. While they may become “quiet” at below-freezing temperatures, as their metabolism slows down, they still need to feed from time to time. And the moment the weather is warmer, they’re back in action. That’s why consistent prevention is so important!
Here’s some tips for keeping pets (and yourself!) safe from these pests:
- Check your dog (and yourself!) for ticks after walks, especially in or near wooded areas where there is wildlife.
- Consider the Lyme vaccine for your dog, especially if you frequent Northern suburbs or counties. In general, the further north you go in Michigan, the greater the risk of contracting Lyme disease. Check out the map for the prevalence of ticks in Michigan.
- If you find a tick on your dog, and it has become engorged with blood, make an appointment so we can remove it (if you are squeamish about it) and we can discuss advanced testing for tick-borne diseases as well.
- Check our online pharmacy for special pricing on featured tick products in October only!
Fleas are the type of parasite that finds a host, latches on and holds for as long as possible. If given enough time, female fleas feed, mate, and can start laying eggs within 24-36 hours. The eggs are laid on your pet, only to fall off, often where your pet spends the most time such as their bedding or your furniture. They are not able to survive in near-freezing temperatures for long, however, in a home, they of course will be a little too cozy. They are also good at finding protected areas such as under homes or in barns in which to weather out the winter. Fleas are difficult to get rid of, but easy to prevent. Don’t chance it—protect your pet for the entire year!
Heartworms are spread via mosquito bites. The larvae enter into your pet’s bloodstream and travel to the heart or lungs where they grow into adults and induce heartworm disease in dogs. Cats can be affected as well, though less frequently (but not less severely). Luckily, mosquitoes do die out in the winter, but their resurgence becomes more and more difficult to predict each year, so constant prevention is important. Many heartworm medications also protect against other internal parasites as well, including hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms making them useful all year round.
Check our online pharmacy for parasite prevention, and don’t hesitate to ask us about the best options for you and your pet!
Dr. Petty and his Arbor Pointe staff are so very compassionate and extremely professional! I’ve taken my dogs and cats here for years. The clinic is pristinely clean! I very much appreciate their excellent communication and total up to date knowledge for the needs of my fur babies! Highly recommend!
Jake was never a “normal” dog. Everything seemed to hurt or scare him. When my vet suggested I see Dr. Petty, I immediately made an appointment. Despite the hour trip, we have been seeing him ever since. Jake is a much happier boy. Now that Dr. Petty has cared for him, he is living his best life.
When the emergency veterinarian said my cat was going to die, I went to Dr. Petty. After a series of treatments, my cat lived 9 more years. Ever since, I have brought all my pets to Arbor Pointe. Dr. Petty is kind, compassionate, wicked smart, willing to think outside the box, and just a darn good veterinarian.