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 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.
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.
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 he has received the full dose. However, there are also some topical (spot-on) treatments available. In the case of heartworm, there is a new preventative that is administered via injection. Each dose lasts approximately six months, making it a good alternative for owners who may struggle to remember to give worming meds monthly.
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.
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.
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.