Parasite Prevention and Control

Parasites are a very common problem with pets and can cause serious illness and even death if not treated.  Some of the more common parasites seen at our hospital are fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms and protozoa such as giardia, coccidia, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, or whipworms.  Many of these parasites can also affect humans and spread disease to your family or other pets in your household including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Toxoplasmosis, and Bartonellosis which causes “cat scratch fever”, diarrhea, and anemia.

 

Routine veterinary exams and fecal testing to detect parasites are critical to ensuring a healthy pet.  This test should be done annually for adult animals and at multiple visits for puppies and kittens.  We will examine your pet for signs of parasites and then submit a fecal sample to lab for testing.  If you have a new pet in your home, please be sure to bring a fecal sample in for their first visit so that it can be tested.  If you pet does have a parasite, we will treat them and retest them a few weeks after medication to ensure they become parasite free.

 

Heartworm and tick borne disease testing is through blood samples collected at your pet’s appointment.  Heartworm testing is mandatory before starting monthly heartworm prevention.  The American Heartworm Society recommends yearly heartworm testing.  Most of our routine blood panels include heartworm testing.  Lyme Disease is a very common tick borne disease in our canine patients.  Routine testing is available for this disease, as well as vaccinations to prevent Lyme Disease are recommended.

 

The best way to avoid parasites in your pet is through prevention.  The heartworm prevention medications we offer also include some intestinal parasite prevention.  Both Sentinel and Spectrum for dogs as well as Revolution for cats offer prevention against some types of intestinal parasites and should be given monthly.  You should also apply a flea and tick preventative such as Provecta for dogs monthly or give orally every 3 months with Bravecto to ensure your pet does not bring any unwanted parasites into your house.

Parasites are not just a nuisance. They can carry serious diseases that affect your pet’s overall health and longevity. If you need a sample tube to bring in a fecal, stop by the office and we will be glad to provide one.  Let us help you protect your pet and your family. Call today to find out how!

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