Your Family Veterinarian wants you to know that here in Orlando, Florida - flea, tick, heartworm & other worm and parasite control is a year-round problem. Prevention if these parasites is a necessity for keeping your pets safe and comfortable. Parasites are not just a nuisance to you and your pets - some of these may cause serious illnesses in your pets and even in your family and can even be fatal for pets.
Parasites that can affect your dog or cat include:
Heartworms - these parasites can live in your pet’s heart and lungs
External parasites - fleas and ticks
Intestinal parasites - hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms
One bite from an infected mosquito is all it takes to get access to your pet’s heart. One infected mosquito can infect your dog with the larval stage of the heartworm parasite.
Heartworms are serious and could be a fatal disease in pets. Twelve-inch-long worms that look like spaghetti live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of infected pets. This causes lung disease, heart failure, organ damage and can be fatal if left untreated.
How does my pet get heartworms?
Heartworms that are living in an infected dog, cat or other animal produce worms that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up these worms and when it bites another animal, the worms enter through the bite wound. Heartworms can grow and live for 5 - 7 years in dogs and 3 years in cats.
How common is heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is a year-round issue. In this area, 1 in 10 dogs tested positive for heartworms.
What can I do to protect my pet?
An important thing to know is that heartworm disease is preventable! Dogs should be tested annually and before starting prevention. It’s best to provide heartworm prevention 12 months of the year. Prevention is the safest and most cost-effective option, but treatment is available for dogs although it is costly and lengthy. Cats should be tested prior to starting their heartworm prevention and re-tested as the veterinarian deems appropriate. There is NO treatment in cats, so prevention is critical and the only means of protection.
Your Family Veterinarian has safe, effective products available that cater to you and your pet's lifestyle and budget. Heartworm prevention should be provided all 12 months of the year. We have an option for an injection every six months to help you with not having to administer monthly.
Fleas, Ticks & Intestinal Parasites
It’s not always easy to tell if your pet has any parasites. Ticks can be very small and fleas can hide in your pet’s fur to where you can’t see them. Intestinal parasites like roundworms could result in diarrhea and further issues, but lots of infected pets don’t show any signs of worms at all. Ticks can carry and transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can give tapeworms and Bartonella – which is the bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans.
At Your Family Veterinarian, we will examine your pet for evidence of fleas, ticks or other parasites during their preventative care exam and may recommend testing to see if your pet has parasites. We have the right medications to help with fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites in our pharmacy.
Parasites are not just a nuisance to you and your pet. They can carry serious diseases that affect your pet’s overall health and longevity. Let us help you protect your pet. Call today to find out how!