If you’ve noticed an uptick (pun intended!) in the number of creepy crawlies, such as ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites, then you can probably guess these pests are also a problem for our pets. Parasites are often associated with the summer months, and that is true that they are out in droves, but did you know that they are a danger year-round?
Help keep your pet safe through effective parasite prevention, and your team at Animal Medical Hospital are here to help!
Fleas and Ticks
These foes are the perfect combo for warm-blooded hosts like your pets. Fleas and ticks prefer dark, warm areas to thrive, which is precisely why in the fur of our pets is the perfect breeding ground.
Fleas are not just annoying, itchy critters, but can transmit a variety of illnesses that can affects pets and people. These include:
- Cat scratch disease
The life cycle of fleas make it possible for a single flea to lay up to 50 eggs per day, and with an ongoing host, are able to live upwards of 1 year.
Tick-borne diseases are something many of us are familiar with, most notably, Lyme disease. Ticks go through similar life cycles to fleas: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult, and require a source of blood to continue to reproduce. But Lyme disease isn’t the only tick-borne zoonotic disease (one that can infect both people and pets).
Other zoonotic tick-borne diseases include:
- Bourbon virus
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Mosquitoes and Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease is one of the most nefarious illnesses that affect dogs, primarily, as well as cats in rarer cases. Heartworm is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito, which transfer tiny larvae, known as microfillea, to the host. Heartworm is carried by most warm blooded mammals, including deer, coyote, dog, cat, and raccoon.
Once infected, the heartworm larvae continue to grow as they travel to the heart and lungs, lodging in the arteries. Heartworm is both costly and dangerous to treat, including lengthy bed rest and surgery. Heartworm in cats is almost always fatal.
Prevention Is Your Pet’s Greatest Defense
Given the number of illnesses hat parasites present, year-round preventing is the most important step in protecting your pet from parasites. If your pet has not been given a medication to protect them from mosquitoes, fleas, ticks (and other) parasites, please contact the staff at Animal Medical Hospital, your first stop in parasite protection!