When the warm weather finally comes around, parasites emerge in full force, ready to ruin the fun. The information surrounding these creepy-crawlies can be overwhelming, so to keep it simple, we’ve broken it down into five frequently asked questions.

1. Why is parasite prevention important for my family?
Not only do parasites cause illness and discomfort for our furry family members, but many can be fatal and transmitted to humans as well. By protecting our pets, we help them live better, healthier lives, and also help keep our families and our communities safe.

2. What parasites should I be concerned about?
The most common parasites in our area are heartworm (spread by mosquitoes), intestinal worms, fleas, ticks, and mites which cause mange. The type of tick that carries Lyme disease is the “Black-Legged” or “Deer” tick, but there are many other types of ticks which can transmit illnesses, too.

3. How do I prevent these parasites?
There are many products available, but most are to be given monthly. Some are chewable tablets and some are liquids, poured behind the shoulder blades. Parasite prevention is not one-size-fits-all, though, so always contact your veterinarian to ensure your pet is properly protected for the season or year.

4. Does my pet need an exam or bloodwork to get parasite prevention?
As with any prescription, your pet must have had an exam recently enough for the doctor to be familiar with their health. The recommended blood test allows your vet to screen for common parasite-borne diseases before their symptoms become severe. A positive test result would affect your pet’s treatment plan, so it is best practice to do this test annually.

5. My pet hardly, or never, goes outdoors. Should they still receive parasite prevention?
Yes. Ticks can hitch a ride indoors on other members of the family. Mosquitoes, which transmit heartworm, can easily access a balcony, front porch, or come inside the home. Additionally, fleas and other parasites can actually infest indoor areas, especially apartments and shared buildings.

Veterinarians and veterinary technicians see the effects of parasites on untreated pets every year and are passionate about reducing the suffering they cause in our communities. If you have any questions, always reach out to them first. With a plan in place, you can relax and enjoy the summer, knowing your pet is protected.

Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.