Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Prevention

heartworm preventionSpring has finally sprung! The Rockaway flora and fauna are just starting to awaken after a long, cold winter, and we bet your dog and cat can’t wait to enjoy some spring adventures with you.

But wait! Before you head outside to do yard work, hike, or take a trip to the dog park, we want to remind you that parasites are not only a springtime threat. Flea, tick, and heartworm prevention is important to your pet’s health and longevity throughout the year. Cats and dogs need 12 months of protection to ensure they are safeguarded from parasitic disease.

Read on to learn why!

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm is a deadly disease for both dogs and cats, and is transmitted by a mosquito. Although we tend to think mosquitoes don’t survive in winter, the fact is that, with warmer climates and different species of mosquito, some have been shown to thrive through winter. Therefore, the threat is always there.

When the mosquito bites your pet, the heartworm larvae are transmitted to the bloodstream, where they migrate to the heart and lungs, and then mature into foot-long heartworms that can live for up to 7 years. These adult heartworms cause heart and respiratory problems, and can result in death.

Heartworm treatment is long, intensive, and expensive. Cats often don’t survive, and dogs, if they do survive, can have permanent organ damage.

Luckily, heartworm prevention is easy, effective, and much less expensive than the treatment of the disease. At Mountainview, we offer chewable monthly doses in 12 month packs. Be sure to have your pet tested for heartworm annually, as the heartworm life cycle can take 6-8 months to complete.

Fleas and Ticks

These pesky parasites are easy to control with a regular monthly preventive. The diseases they carry can be harmful to your dog and cat, and fleas are very labor intensive to completely remove once there is an infestation in your home. Don’t let a problem begin by making sure to keep all of your pets on a year-round, monthly flea and tick prevention.

Fleas are found throughout the country and carry a number of diseases that can affect your family. Cat scratch fever, tapeworms, and the plague are all carried by fleas. Fleas also cause your pet to be miserable! If you hear Fido’s collar jangling in the middle of the night as he scratches flea bites, you know what we mean. Even one flea bite can cause serious problems for some pets.

Ticks also carry serious diseases, such as ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If ticks transmit these to your pet, you can expect months or even years of expensive treatment, as well as the fact that your pet would be in pain until the disease is diagnosed (often difficult).

Don’t let these problems overcome your pet or your household. If your pet is not currently on parasite prevention, or if their dosing has lapsed, don’t worry! Mountainview Veterinary Hospital is here to support you getting back on track with flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, and can guide you with our recommendations based on your pet’s lifestyle.

Give us a call or schedule an appointment to talk about a plan of attack!