Parasite Prevention in Cats and Dogs

One of the cornerstone components of healthcare for your pet is comprehensive parasite prevention. Parasites live on or in another animal (host) and benefit by stealing nutrition from the host. Parasites that live on the host are called ectoparasites and include fleas, ticks, and mites. Parasites that live in the host are called endoparasites and include intestinal worms and heartworms.

Heartworms are transmitted to pets by a mosquito bite. They then migrate through the body to the heart where they live, grow and reproduce in the main pulmonary artery. Untreated heartworms will prove deadly, and treatment of existing heartworms can be associated with serious complications. Fortunately, monthly heartworm prevention is safe, effective, and easy to administer!

Intestinal worms include hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. These worms can be acquired in the soil, from other pets, and from eating other organisms or their feces. Some of these worms are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted to people. Fortunately, these worms are safely and easily prevented with a monthly chewable!

Fleas and ticks are external parasites that can cause internal and external diseases. These include Lyme disease, tapeworms, itchy skin, anemia, and other serious problems. Simply living in Pennsylvania is a risk for ticks regardless of rural vs. urban location. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) in Pennsylvania in 2021: 1 in 10 dogs tested positive for Lyme disease. Fortunately, fleas and ticks are easily prevented as well with a monthly chewable!

You may have seen recent ads for an all-in-one combination monthly chewable product that prevents heartworm, intestinal worm, and flea/tick control. Many have asked why Neffsville Veterinary Clinic has not switched to this single chew. The reason is simple, we feel that more protection is better! What this single chew lacks are tapeworm and whipworm control. We feel that giving two monthly chewable medications to protect your pet against more worms is the right thing.

By Dr. Klint D. Hockenberry

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