Parasites. The word alone gives most people the creeps. No one wants to play host to a blood-sucking bug, but most animals in the wild aren’t able to defend themselves against parasites. Whether internal or external, we can all agree that parasite prevention is important for the pets we know and love. Without a proactive, diligent approach, serious health problems may be the outcome of this costly gamble.
Cause and Effect
Parasites are awful in that they thrive at their host’s expense and are responsible for spreading harmful diseases. Luckily, with consistent monitoring and the right dose of medication, serious health problems are kept at bay, protecting both pets and their owners. What’s more, parasite prevention is less costly than treating illnesses spread by fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
All the Pieces
At your pet’s yearly or bi-annual wellness exam, we can screen for heartworm disease, discuss exposure risks, and explore which type of medication you prefer. Some people like giving their pet a pill every 30 days; others find a topical medication easier. Whatever you decide, you’ll have relief knowing your pet is protected from nasty bugs all year long.
Variety of Issues
Fleas cause a lot of heartbreaking itching, but excessive irritation can lead to hotspots and even secondary skin infection. Even worse, fleas can infest your entire home, making it very hard to eradicate them completely.
Ticks and mosquitoes crank it up considerably with terrible diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and heartworm disease.
The spring and summer see more cases of parasite-related problems in pets, partly because animals spend more time out in nature. However, these three main parasites can find their way inside homes fairly easily – even on the soles of your shoes!
Other Measures for Parasite Prevention
Aside from medication, there are other ways you can address parasite prevention, including:
- Watch closely where your pet hangs out. Ticks like shady, overgrown areas. When they come inside, take a fine-toothed comb and look for any parasites on the legs, armpits, belly, back, feet, and chest.
- Keep fur shorter and manageable so you can see bugs easily.
- Empty any standing water on your property (mosquitoes lay eggs there).
- Pick up poop (and avoid it when in public) to limit exposure to internal parasites.
- Bathe your pet regularly.
- Know the signs of worms (diarrhea, abdominal cramping, etc.).