Parasite Prevention

Parasites are a very common problem amongst pets, but the good news is that they don’t have to be! We offer a comprehensive parasite prevention service as part of our usual preventative care program that can ensure that your furriest family member remains free from those pesky parasites that could otherwise threaten their health and happiness.

Here is what you need to know about parasites and the ways in which we can work with you to keep your pet safe.

Internal Parasites

Internal parasites are those which live inside your pet and that you cannot see. This means that you are heavily reliant on noticing symptoms of an infestation so that your pet can be treated – something which isn’t always easy, especially give an animal’s predisposition to mask illness. Often that enables an infestation to become severe before an owner is even aware that their pet is affected.

There are multiple types of internal parasites that can affect our pets. These include tapeworm, whipworm, hookworm, roundworm, and heartworm. All can have a detrimental impact on the health of your pet, but heartworm is particularly dangerous. These foot-long worms live in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs, clogging them and preventing blood flow. Left untreated, organ damage and death are inevitable.

Preventing internal parasites

Internal parasites are spread either via direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected animal or by mosquitos (heartworm). However, prevention is fairly straightforward so long as you use the correct product and dosage, and you stick to the preventative schedule recommended by our veterinarians.

For all dogs we recommend heartworm prevention due to the large and variable mosquito burden present in the tri-state. Consider ProHeart 12 or 6 to prevent deadly heartworms and costly treatment. Proheart is by far the superior choice for active families or pet owners. There are several great choices for dogs and puppies who are at increased risk of intestinal parasites. Currently we recommend Simparica Trio or Interceptor Plus, or any of the monthly products available in our Online Pharamacy which include whipworm control. The administration is usually in the form of a chewable tablet, given every 30 days. You will need to ensure that your pet eats the entire meal to be certain that they has received the full dose. However, there are also some topical (spot-on) treatments available, which may prevent some external and also some internal parasites, though not all. Bear in mind these products must be administered monthly to prevent any parasites. ProHeart, Simparica Trio are eligible for Zoetis Petcare Rewards everytime you receive these treatments in our clinic.

For Cats, in the case of heartworm and external parasites nothing beats the topical medications Revolution Plus or Bravecto Plus Topical for Cats. Revolution Plus is eligible for Zoetis Petcare Rewards everytime you receive these treatments in our clinic or in our online pharmacy,

External Parasites

External parasites are the ones that live on your pet’s skin, usually buried within his coat. Common external parasites include fleas, ticks, scabies, lice, and mites. Unfortunately, aside from ticks, it is very difficult to spot them with the naked eye. Ticks are still very small, although they do swell in size when they consume your pet’s blood.

External parasites can cause your pet a range of unpleasant and debilitating problems. These range from severe and uncontrollable itching and anemia to hair loss, broken skin, and flea allergy dermatitis. Some types of external parasites also carry diseases of their own. For example, ticks can transmit a range of infectious illnesses including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis.

Preventing external parasites

There are lots of different options available to owners who are looking to protect their pets from external parasites. In addition to chewable tablets, there are also spot-on treatments, collars that emit repellents, shampoos and lotions, and sprays. There are also products that you can use to keep parasites such as fleas and ticks away from your home. In many instances, one product will protect against various types of external parasites, making administering the preventatives much easier.

As with internal parasite preventatives, those that protect your pet against external varieties must also be given on a strict schedule so that there is continuous coverage. Our team will be able to help you choose the right product and set you up with a schedule that you can stick to, based on your individual pet's risk of exposure.

For dogs, we most often recommend extended release Bravecto chewable Flea/Tick protection which provides peace of mind protection from external parasites. For cats, nothing beats the topical medications Revolution Plus or Bravecto Plus Topical for Cats. Revolution Plus is eligible for Zoetis Petcare Rewards everytime you receive these treatments in our clinic or in our online pharmacy.

Determining the Best Preventative Plan for Your Pet

Veterinary medicine should be individualized for your pet. Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) are commonly used in human medicine to assess individual risk and develop personalized, patient-centered healthcare plans. We’ve standardized our HRAs available for use in veterinary medicine. Our Health Risk Assessments include patient health, identified risk factors, and client communication and education. It encourages greater pet owner involvement to facilitate better pet health. A comprehensive preventive pet healthcare plan should include an evaluation of the current health status of the individual patient as well as an assessment of risk factors that may affect the continued health of the patient.

To achieve these result we combine a health history questionnaire, completed by the pet’s primary caregiver, a full exam, with a comprehensive laboratory screening profile. The laboratory results are included in the follow-up report, providing a comprehensive assessment that is available to both the veterinarian and primary caregiver. Our report can provide you with patient information in several areas including healthy aging, osteoarthritis, metobolic diseases, endocrine disease risk, nutrition, obesity, dental health, compliance with vaccinations and parasite control, and general lifestyle information.

Parasite prevention is simple when you have the help and support of an experienced veterinary team. Contact Highland Veterinary Clinic in Evansville, IN today to find out more or to schedule an appointment 812-867-6654.

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