Spring is in the air and as the weather improves, we begin to enjoy the outdoors more and more. Our pets are also spending more time outdoors so it is important to be aware of the different parasites that are sharing the environment with them.
In the Okanagan we see a variety of internal and external parasites. The internal parasites include Roundworms, Whipworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, and Heartworms. The external parasites we often see are Fleas, Ticks, Lice, and Mites.
Your pet can get internal parasites a variety of ways such as ingesting eggs from contaminated soil and water (Round, Whip, Hookworms), eating mice (Tapeworms), or being bitten by a mosquito (Heartworm). The external parasites crawl or jump onto your pet either from the environment or from other infested animals. Interestingly, some mites are present on pets and do no harm unless the pet develops a weakened immune system either by stress, malnourishment or disease.
So now that we know all about what your pet can get while enjoying the outdoors, how do you protect them?
Prevention is always the best action to take! We have prescription medications available for all ages of cats and dogs that will prevent many of the parasites mentioned.
Heartgard® is a chewable treatment given to your dog once a month during mosquito season which will prevent heartworm disease and treat stomach worms.
Revolution® is a liquid treatment that goes on your pets’ skin that is also applied once a month during mosquito season to prevent heartworm disease, and to treat and control fleas, mites, ticks and stomach worms.
If your pet eats mice we strongly recommend deworming them every three months with Milbemaxx® or Profender® (cats) or Dolpac® (dogs). It is important to note that tapeworms must be treated with a prescription medication available from the veterinary clinic. Store bought products will not get rid of tapeworms!
Enjoy the warm months ahead by protecting your family from parasites!