With the warmer weather coming, our pets are becoming more exposed to parasites as we all venture outdoors. Ticks have already been spotted this month, and intestinal parasites may be present in your backyards. Dogs and cats are prone to picking up various parasites from their environment, including roundworms, hookworms, fleas, and ticks. Even if your pet is exclusively indoors, they can get parasites which can then potentially be passed on to you and your family.
Along with fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites, heartworms are also a parasite that your pets can become infected with in the warmer months. Heartworms are spread through the bite of a mosquito. The worm travels from the site of the mosquito bite to the heart, where it can lead to heart disease and death. Heartworms can be treated, but the treatment can be hard on your pet, and the treatment is becoming more difficult for veterinarians to obtain; therefore, it is recommended that all dogs and cats be given a heartworm preventative once monthly year-round. A heartworm test is recommended annually for early diagnosis and treatment.
Protect your pet, yourself and your family by following the guidelines below:
- Pick up all stools in the yard and scoop the litter boxes within 24-48 hours
- Do not allow children or the immunosuppressed to handle feces
- Administer a good-quality flea/tick preventative from a trusted source once monthly.
- Bring us a fecal sample at least annually to screen for intestinal parasites.
- Administer an oral dewormer once monthly that will prevent intestinal parasites and the dreaded heartworm.
Call us at 515-986-2841 to speak with me or one of our knowledgable staff members to discuss your pet’s parasite prevention needs.