parasite preventionFleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other creepy crawlies…a summer problem, right? Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, parasites continue to thrive year-round, even when the weather turns brisk. Despite the occasional chilly temperatures, these formidable foes continue to wreak havoc on our pets (and sometimes on us).

While it may be tempting to save a few bucks on parasite control, there are plenty of good reasons parasite prevention should be a year-round investment. Your friends at Animal Medical Hospital are here to tell you why!

The Risks Associated With Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes

It’s well known these tiny parasites can be incredibly annoying. However, they’re also harbingers of dangerous diseases that can be passed between animals and people (zoonotic diseases). This includes:

  • Lyme disease
  • Plague
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Tularemia
  • Intestinal worms
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Tick paralysis

The Trouble With Warmer Temps

We live in a moderate, coastal environment that brings with it unseasonably warm days, rain, and erratic weather patterns. This allows parasites to thrive even during months we think they should be dormant. It only requires a few days of 50 degree weather for insects to remain active and reproduce.

Because of the warmer winters we’ve experienced over the past few decades, we’re seeing a proliferation of vector-borne diseases throughout the year. Many parasites, like ticks, aren’t dormant even in regions that experience weather extremes.

As many homeowners know, parasites such as fleas can find a warm shelter in our homes. With urban wildlife also becoming more adapted to us, our exposure to the parasites they carry is increased.

Because it only takes one bite from a single mosquito, tick, or flea for your pet to become infected, prevention is a must to keep your furry friends and human loved ones safe.

A Word About Heartworm

Mosquitoes are the parasites that carry heartworm, and they can remain active throughout winter; that’s why it’s vitally important to keep your pet on a preventive. With our warmer coastal climate, heart disease is particularly problematic in our area and can cause grave harm to your pet.

Heartworm can infiltrate the heart and lungs and may go unnoticed until treatment is both difficult and costly; it may even require surgery. Skipping even one month or postponing your pet’s meds for a week can set them up for heartworm. Also note that if you miss a month, your pet must be retested because of the harm that can result from medicating an animal that’s already infected.

Parasite Prevention: Your Friend in the Battle Against Pests

Year-round parasite prevention is simple, and at Animal Medical Hospital, we tailor our protocol to meet the specific needs of your pet. If you’re unsure about your pet’s current preventive or if you have any concerns, please give us a call.

Let’s take the bite out of these problematic parasites!