Unfortunately, as the climate becomes warmer every year, we see a higher incidence of parasitic infections, heartworm, and Lyme disease in our area. Parasites can transmit serious diseases and cause severe long-term damage to those affected.
Pet parasites can range from several inches long to microscopic, but don’t let size fool you! Sometimes the most formidable foes come in the smallest packages. Following are some things you need to know to keep your furry friend safe against pet parasites.
Heartworm: It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to transmit the heartworm larva to your cat or dog. The worms make their way to the heart and lungs where they can grow and cause permanent damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. If left untreated, the disease is fatal.
Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial disease that can affect both humans and animals. In dogs, it causes kidney damage and a painful form of arthritis. Make it a habit to do a quick check after walking through densely wooded areas and undergrowth.
Ticks: Not only can ticks transmit Lyme Disease, but even a single tick bite can cause local pain/infection. In large numbers they can cause anemia.
Fleas: A single flea needs to feed 300-400 times per day. If your pet is allergic to fleas, even 1 or 2 fleas can send them into a frenzy of scratching and chewing, resulting in a skin infection.
Stomach Worms: These parasites spend their entire adult life inside your pet’s intestines. Pets can get these worms just by walking through feces in your back yard/park. Indoor cats are at risk as well, as parasite eggs can be tracked into your house.
How Can You Protect Your Pet?
It is much easier, safer and more cost effective to prevent parasites than it is to treat the diseases they cause. There are now several options available that are safe and effective for preventing heartworm, fleas, ticks and stomach worms. Protection can be as simple as giving a tasty, chewable pill or applying a small vial of topical medication once per month.
Internal parasites are an epidemic. Even in the Idaho Falls area they affect as many as 20% of dogs and even more cats. Some of these parasites even pose a threat to humans, especially children. Don’t take any chances…call our office today to speak with our qualified veterinarian in idaho falls and schedule an appointment so we can properly protect your precious pet!