Skip Winter Parasite Prevention? Not A Chance!
Keeping your pet free of parasites year round is a responsibility of pet ownership. We all know that parasites can make your pet uncomfortable, but did you know they can also cause serious illness in both your pet and – at times – in your family? Some parasites can be transmitted to humans, so keeping your pet parasite free all year means a healthier pet, healthier family, and healthier home. Conrad-Weiser Animal Hospital explores the why and how.
Winter Parasite Prevention
Many pet owners mistakenly believe that once cold temperatures arrive they can skip a few months of flea, tick, heartworm, and intestinal parasite prevention. Nothing could be further from the truth! Here are a few reasons why:
- Ticks do not die off in winter; they simply go dormant, waiting for a temperature of 40 degrees to awaken
- Fleas can thrive in the warm and humid environment of our homes all year long
- Mosquitoes have been shown to easily overwinter in homes, sheds, and even garages. They can also hatch and be active on a day over 50 degrees, which easily happens on an unseasonably warm day.
- Intestinal parasites live in the host animal’s digestive tract and can be excreted into the dirt, where your dog or cat can pick them up at any time.
Fleas, Fleas, and More Fleas
Flea pupae can survive even the harshest winter by going into a dormant state. They are ready to hatch at the first sign of warm weather, and if you see one flea, rest assured there are many, many more where that came from. Flea infestations take months to clear up, since fleas breed and hatch so prolifically. Keep your pet in a year round flea preventive to ensure you don’t have to deal with this annoying parasite in your home.
Keeping Ticks At Bay
The territory of many disease causing ticks has expanded over the years, and with constantly fluctuating temperatures, it’s impossible to know when ticks will hatch. In our area, deer ticks in particular are a problem.
Keep your pet on a year round tick prevention to prevent diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and many types of Ehrlichiosis.
Year round heartworm prevention is important for pets, even if you think mosquitoes aren’t. Heartworms take up to 6 months to develop in a pet’s body, and it’s important to interrupt this cycle each and every month, on schedule – so adult worms don’t have a chance to develop.
What’s more, treating heartworm in dogs is expensive and difficult, and in cats, heartworm is almost always fatal. Don’t leave your pet unprotected.
Intestinal Parasite Woes
Intestinal parasites don’t need to worry about winter because they live in a nice warm environment inside your pet’s intestinal tract. What’s more, if your pet spends time around other pets – like at the dog park or boarding facilities –– he is at greater risk of picking something up.
The good news is that most monthly heartworm preventives contains a broad dewormer that kills many intestinal parasites that we worry about.
Make it Automatic
A monthly parasite preventive administered year round is the best defense against all these tiny organisms that can inflict so much damage. With iCal and all the other automatic reminder systems we now have in place, remembering to give this dose each month is easy.
If you have any questions or need to get your pet’s preventives refilled before the winter sets in, please give us a call.
Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital:
Where big city medicine and surgery meet small town customer service and value.