Always consult with your veterinarian before starting any medications and for specific product recommendations.
Q: How can my pets get fleas and ticks?
A: Both fleas and ticks can latch onto your pet if they spend time outdoors, especially in heavily wooded areas. Although indoor pets are at a lower risk, there is still a possibility of parasites jumping onto an owners clothing, shoes, etc. and being transferred into the home.
Q: Should I keep my dog and/or cat on flea and tick prevention?
A: Yes. It is very important to keep you pet on prevention as both fleas and ticks are capable of transmitting diseases and even causing skin issues.
Q: What diseases or medical conditions can be caused by fleas and tick?
A: Fleas are capable of causing flea allergy dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction from being bitten by fleas. This allergic reaction can cause severe itching with hair loss and scaly skin. It is also not uncommon for fleas to transmit tapeworms as well.
Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. All of these can cause various symptoms in your pet.
Q: What options are available for flea and tick prevention?
A: There are several options available. Flea collars and flea shampoos are available over the counter, although these do not tend to be effective.
Topical solutions are be applied to the skin every 30 days and provide good protection, the only downside is no bathing and avoid petting in the area the topical prevention is applied for about 48 hours after application.
Oral chew prevention are given every 30 days also and there is even an every 12 week option available. Most of these are well tolerated and effective at preventing flea/tick prevention. The only downside to these are if your pet is known to have seizures than it is NOT recommended to use these.
Q: How does heartworm disease affect dogs and cats?
A: Heartworm is transmitted by infected mosquitoes that inject immature worms called microfilariae in your pet’s blood. The microfilariae swim through the blood vessels and can cause damage to blood cells and vessel walls. As the worms mature, the damage increases and can cause clotting, scarring, and narrowing of the blood vessels. Heartworm also increases the blood pressure, forcing the heart to pump harder which this increase in demand can cause damage to your pet’s heart. The more worms, the harder the heart pumps, the faster damage occurs.
Q: When does my pet need heartworm protection?
A: The American Heartworm Society recommends year round protection, when not given consistently pets are at increased risk of infection. Heartworm disease has been reported in all 50 states at all times of the year. Plus, it is easier to remember giving the prevention on the same day year round than to give it a few months of the year.
Q: Why do heartworm preventative require a prescription?
A: Federal law requires a prescription for heartworm preventatives because giving this medication to pets that are infection can cause serious illness or death.
Q: Why does my pet require a blood test before being given heartworm preventatives?
A: To ensure that your pet isn’t already infected with heartworm. Giving prevention to pets who are already infected can cause severe illness or death.