Fleas, ticks and heartworms are prevalent in our area, even when outdoor temperatures decrease in the fall and winter months.
Fleas are the most common external parasite that we see with dogs and cats. In our area, with its temperate climate, we unfortunately see fleas year-round. Even indoor only cats struggle with flea infestations, as fleas can come inside through window screens, or by hitching a ride on our pant legs! If you have a dog that goes outdoors, fleas can make their way indoors on your dog, also. Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae as well, and transmit tapeworms to your pet if ingested. Significant flea infestations may also lead to anemia.
Ticks are found in heavily wooded areas, dry climates, or areas with tall grass. Ticks feed on the blood supply of dogs and cats, and can also spread tick-borne infections such as Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Heartworm disease is an internal parasite spread by mosquitoes. With this disease, long worms inhabit the chambers of the heart and cause persistent cough, fatigue, weight loss and difficulty breathing. Treatment of heartworms can be costly and lasts over the course of several months, so prevention of this disease is very important.
We recommend year-round flea and heartworm prevention, such as Trifexis (a chewable tablet given each month) or Revolution (a topical liquid applied to the skin each month). Tick prevention can be applied monthly if your pet lives in an area where ticks are present, or if you travel to areas where ticks are found. If you would like to start flea, tick or heartworm prevention for your pet, please call our office at (503)206-4163.
Photo Credit: consumeraffairs.com
Originally posted December 9, 2015.