Although summer heralds the arrival of many different creepy crawlies, there is some confusion about when pest season ends. Truthfully, it never does. While summer may be peak season for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, etc., they’re actually a threat year-round, making pet parasite prevention a big concern.
Heartworm Disease and the Trouble with Lapsed Months
Monthly preventives are helpful to owners by taking the guesswork out of when the last dose was administered. It can also be tricky to ascertain the start and end of certain seasons, especially when climate change has made weather patterns somewhat unpredictable. When it comes to heartworm disease, any lapse in medication is a serious gamble for cats, dogs, and ferrets. Mosquitoes can often live through mild winters, particularly when they find a warm place to reside (like a cozy garage or inside a home). While these bloodsuckers don’t live long as adults, it only takes one bite to put your pet’s health at risk. A lapse also requires that you bring your pet in for a heartworm test. This test is critical before starting your pet on a medication (a pet infected with heartworm can be made worse when given a preventive).
Fleas and Ticks: Year-Round Foes
Fleas and ticks can be troublesome throughout the winter months as well. For example, a raccoon can start a flea infestation simply by curling up in a chimney or attic. Deer and other wildlife can also serve as warm winter hosts for ticks. Like mosquitoes, these parasites carry many noxious diseases that can even be transmitted to people (referred to as zoonosis). Some common (and growing) problems caused by fleas and ticks include:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Cat-scratch disease
- Flea bite dermatitis
- Parasitic worms
Anyone who’s ever dealt with a flea problem knows how challenging it can be. You may have to hire a professional exterminator, which can be quite costly and require a lot of effort and inconvenience – and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the health problems they can cause.
Pet Parasite Prevention to the Rescue
When it comes to protecting your pet and your family, there’s no reason to take chances. The simplest (and safest) solution is to keep your pet on year-round flea, tick, and heartworm preventives. To learn more about effective pet parasite prevention for your cat, dog, or small mammal, please contact the team at Paws, Purrs & Exotics Animal Hospital.