Pet Parasite Prevention in the City and Beyond
Parasites pose some pretty serious dangers to our pets. Fleas, ticks, and heartworms are three of the most common. All three not only cause severe irritation, but they can also transmit disease. At South Loop Animal Hospital, we want to help Chicago pet parents deliver the most effective, consistent preventive care. Pet parasite prevention is far less costly than any treatment for the parasite or the diseases they carry. Read on to learn more about the parasites that threaten your pet and how to prevent them.
Fleas and Ticks
These two pests both feed off of your pet’s blood. While ticks will take one blood meal and leave, fleas will take meal after meal and make a home in your pet’s fur. Fleas can cause severe skin irritation, and their saliva can sometimes trigger a skin condition known as flea dermatitis in allergic pets. Ticks, on the other hand, can feed off of your pet undetected for a day or more. This leaves plenty of time for them to transmit serious diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or more. Luckily, these bloodsuckers are both easily preventable with the same parasite preventatives. Common flea and tick preventatives include:
- Bravecto (dogs and cats)
- Nexgard (dogs)
- Frontline Plus (dogs and cats)
- Seresto Collar (dogs and cats)
- Advantage (dogs and cats)
- Revolution (cats)
Fleas and ticks cause a lot of problems, but they are usually noticeable by pet owners. A veterinarian can then easily confirm a flea or tick bite and take the necessary steps to eradicate them in the case of fleas, or remove them and watch for signs of disease in the case of ticks. Heartworms, however, are harder to detect. They are much more common in dogs, but cats are also at risk. Your pet contracts heartworms from infected mosquitoes. The worms travel through the bloodstream to reach your pet’s heart and the blood vessels in the lungs. There, the heartworms will grow, mature, and multiply.
Unfortunately, your dog could go many months and even a year or more with no sign of heartworm disease. Similarly, cats could have no symptoms, or they could develop respiratory problems similar to asthma and other conditions that make heartworm diagnoses very difficult. While there is treatment for dogs who do develop heartworm disease, it is highly risky and very costly. For cats, sadly, there is no cure.
Heartworm prevention is essential for both your cat and dog. Common preventatives include:
- Heartgard (dogs and cats)
- Sentinel (dogs)
- Interceptor Plus (dogs)
- Tri-Heart Plus (dogs)
- Advantage Multi (dogs and cats)
- Revolution (cats)
Your veterinarian at South Loop Animal Hospital will discuss with you our pet’s lifestyle and decide which pet parasite preventation medication is right for you. Schedule your appointment today!