August is Parasite Prevention Month at All Paws! Parasites can be found either internally (intestinal parasites, heartworm) or externally (fleas, ticks, mites).
-Heartworm disease occurs throughout the U.S and is transmitted by mosquitoes. The heartworms take up residence in the pets bloodstream, lungs, and heart. Heartworms can grow to be up to one foot in length and if left untreated, heartworm disease is ultimately fatal. Heartworm testing is recommended once a year with a simple blood draw that is sent out to a lab to check for the presence of heartworm.
-Ticks can carry common diseases such as Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis which can affect pets and people alike.
-Experts are predicting 2017 to be one of the biggest years for the spread of heartworm disease and tick born illnesses.
-Fleas can cause skin allergies as well as transmit other parasites such as tapeworms.
-Some common intestinal parasites are roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Some of these parasites can be observed with the eye, while others can only be identified in a lab by looking under a microscope.
Most parasites are preventable!
Below are some tips to help prevent unwanted parasites in your pet:
-Be sure your pet is on both heartworm prevention as well as flea and tick prevention throughout the year. Ticks can be seen in the environment as late as November and as early as February.
-Check your pet for ticks after being outside. Ticks commonly like to attach themselves in and around ears, the neck area, the tail, and legs.
-Make sure to have your pet's stool checked at least once a year for any intestinal parasites. Any changes in stool may warrant a fecal test since intestinal parasites can appear depending on the environment your pet is exposed to.
-Monitor your pet for any changes in energy level, appetite, water intake, or stool consistency.
If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your pet, please let us know! We wish all of our clients and patients a safe, happy, and healthy remainder of the summer.
The Doctors and Staff at All Paws Veterinary Clinic