Prevention is much easier and healthier than treatment!
When your furry family member comes in for a wellness exam one of the major topics that the veterinarian will discuss with you is preventative medicine. We will ask you questions about your furry little one’s lifestyle so that we can assess their exposure to certain risk factors. Vaccines are an effective way to prevent many common viruses and some bacteria and anti-parasitic medications can prevent and treat different parasitic infestations. Heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other internal and external parasites are much more than just pests, they can cause life-threatening conditions in both your furry and human family members. The medications that we use require a prescription, which means that our veterinary team has to have seen your furry family member for a physical exam within the past year. This is a legal requirement for all veterinary clinics dispensing prescription medications.
Flea bites cause severe itching for both your furry and human family members. Some animals develop an allergy to fleabites, especially if they are repeatedly bitten. Fleas are also the intermediate host for one species of tapeworm which is transmitted when a dog or cat swallows an infected flea while grooming, so any furry little one with fleas likely also has a tapeworm infestation.
If you would like to get your furry family member on a flea prevention medication, or if you need flea treatment for your furry little one and your house, please contact us today.
Treatment for heartworm infection in dogs is far more expensive than prevention, and the treatment itself can be fatal. There is no approved treatment for cats. Some cats spontaneously rid themselves of the infection, while others might not survive it. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent heartworm infestations. We are lucky that mosquitoes are only out pestering us in the summer months so our typical prevention regimens run from June to November. If your pet travels with you we may recommend year-long prevention.
Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog or cat, even if they are on a preventive, as some medications require the tick to bite in order to work. Grab a pair of gloves, tweezers or a tick remover, and a sealable container with some rubbing alcohol in it. Put the gloves on and using the tweezers or tick remover, grab the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible and pull it out using a straight motion. Do not twist or squeeze the tick as you don’t want to leave any mouthparts behind or push fluids from the tick into your pet. Once removed, place the tick in the sealed container with rubbing alcohol. We recommend that you either bring it in to the clinic for us to ID or keep it at home in case your pet begins displaying symptoms of disease. It is important to remove ticks as soon as you find them to prevent the transmission of disease – they can start transmitting pathogens within 24 hours after they bite. If you are uncomfortable removing a tick from your pet, contact us and we would be happy to help.