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parasite preventionThere’s no doubt that fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are an annoying nuisance, but the diseases they can spread may fly under the radar for many pet owners. This makes year-round pet parasite prevention a cornerstone of responsible pet ownership.

Fleas

Fleas thrive in warm, humid environments. All dogs and cats are susceptible to flea infestations, even those who live exclusively indoors.

Besides causing significant discomfort for pets, fleas can transmit diseases such as Bartonella (cat scratch fever), tapeworms, and Plague. Fleas are notoriously difficult to treat, and eradication can be exhausting and time-consuming.

Ticks

Pennsylvania leads the nation in cases of Lyme disease, an incurable illness that can be transmitted to both pets and humans via the deer tick. In 2015, nearly a quarter of all confirmed Lyme Disease cases were found in our state, and thanks to a bumper crop of acorns (mice love acorns, and deer ticks begin their life cycle by feeding on mice), this year is expected to be a big one for ticks.

Other tick-borne illnesses include:

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Tick Paralysis
  • Babeosis
  • Tularemia

Heartworm Heartbreak

Heartworm disease – carried by 60 different species of mosquitoes and present in all 50 states–is arguably the most devastating vector-borne illness that can affect our pets. The treatment for heartworm disease in dogs is long, expensive, and painful. The disease is almost always fatal in cats, as there is currently no treatment on the market.

Intestinal Parasites

Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms are just a few of the many types of intestinal parasites your pet can come into contact with in his or her environment. Some of these worms are considered zoonotic, meaning they can be transferred from pets to people. Fortunately, your pet’s heartworm medication offers protection against a number of common intestinal parasites, making an even stronger case for year-round prevention.

Pet Parasite Prevention

The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be truer when it comes to pet parasite prevention. Year-round protection against fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal parasites is ultimately healthier and safer for your pet, and more cost-effective for you, than dealing with a vector-borne illness once it has set in.

At each of your pet’s wellness exams, your veterinarian will help you to determine which parasite prevention products are right for your pet. Give us a call at Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital for more information, or to set up an appointment for your furry friend today!