Preventative Services

Flea Prevention and Control

Fleas can cause diseases in  pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. Even worse, they don’t just stay on pets –  they can bite people, too. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.

 

You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they are already inside. Call us to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a preventive today.

Heartworm Prevention

Mosquitoes  transmit heartworm infection.   Heartworms can cause lift threatening disease in both dogs and cats. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection –  in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.

In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss and progress to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure). Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure); without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.

Although previously  thought  not to be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can get heartworms. Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD).  The symptoms can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and  coughing  are common. Other symptoms include  vomiting (typically unrelated to eating), and loss of appetite or weight. Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.

Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention.  Dogs can even die due to complications of treatment. There is no approved treatment for cats and though  some cats spontaneously clear the infection, others can have fatal complications .  Even one or two adult heartworms in a cat can cause serious disease..

Fortunately, by administering monthly heartworm preventives you can keep your dog or cat safe from these parasites.  Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. We can recommend the best regimen of prevention for your pet.

Tick Prevention

Ticks are becoming more and more prevalent in North America.   These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious—and sometimes deadly—diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis,  babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. Contact us immediately if your pet starts coughing or has joint pain, trouble breathing, fever, weakness, or loss of appetite, weight, energy, or coordination.

The best method for keeping ticks off your pet is by keeping your dog or cat on a tick preventive. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride on your clothing or shoes. Tick preventives are safe and highly effective at controlling ticks and  preventing the diseases they carry. Call us to get your pet protected today!

Ticks can hide easily under your pet’s fur, so as an added measure of protection, we recommend checking your pet for ticks every time your pet comes in from outside. And don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have.  Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog or cat even if your pet is on a preventive. Some preventives kill ticks after they have come in contact with your pet.

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