Apr 03 2019

Why Monthly Parasite Prevention is Important

Parasites are the stuff of nightmares. While most can only be seen with a magnifying glass or microscope, others are frighteningly large. Living on or inside their host, parasites come from the environment, and instead of giving anything in return, they make their hosts ill or uncomfortable.

Ticks and fleas are the most talked about parasites in pet care, but they aren’t alone. Various types of internal worms, skin mites, and protozoa can threaten overall health and wellness. The answer? Parasite prevention medication. When given on a monthly schedule, this can thwart the efforts of numerous despicable blood-sucking bugs.

Common Culprits

The most common parasites that impact pet health include:

  • Heartworms
  • Ticks
  • Fleas
  • Ear mites
  • Mange mites
  • Coccidia
  • Giardia
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Whipworms
  • Toxoplasmosis

These parasites can either cause zoonotic disease (illness that can be transmitted between animals and people) or vector-borne disease (illness directly transmitted to hosts, like Lyme disease).

Because pets are family members, it’s crucial they remain protected from parasites. Without a monthly dose, animals can be exposed to numerous parasites that can harm both people and pets.  

A Vast Range

Maintaining monthly doses of year-round parasite prevention is your best defense against internal and external parasites. While not all symptoms associated with parasites are life-threatening, parasites can cause irritation and discomfort. In short, why risk exposing your pet to this wide range of possible outcomes?

Heartworm Disease

Mosquitoes pick up microscopic larvae from the blood of an infected host. During their next blood meal, these tiny worms are deposited directly into the bloodstream of another victim. Over a period of 6 months or so, these worms move to the heart and lungs where they grow and reproduce.

Parasite Prevention to the Rescue!

Heartworms can kill or seriously impair infected pets, and there’s no viable treatment for cats. Canine treatment can also be costly and not without complications.

The good news is that a simple blood test can reveal whether a pet has heartworms. Since it can be dangerous to administer heartworm medication to an animal who tests positive, the very best thing is to stay out in front of a possible infection.

Heartworm medication must be given to cats and dogs each month. If you skip a dose or forget for weeks at a time, any larvae deposited in the bloodstream may have time to develop into adult worms.

The 12-Month Effect

Parasite prevention medication eliminates the chance that your pet will contract a zoonotic or vector-borne illness. It’s also important to maintain excellent hygiene when it comes to litter boxes, poop scooping, sandboxes, and other areas frequented by animals.

Parasites don’t take any time off. In fact, they’re present year-round. In Virginia, fleas and ticks can survive the winter and enjoy an uninterrupted life cycle. Similarly, worms found in feces, raw meat, and our environment are continually active and ready to cause damage.

If you have additional questions about your pet’s parasite prevention schedule, please let us know. The team at Paws, Purrs & Exotics Animal Hospital is always here for you!

pawspurrsandexoticsah | Pet Health & Wellness

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