Do you favor the rapid swoop-and-bag approach to picking up your dog's stools or scooping cat litter? Although most pet owners would rather not prolong contact with their pet's feces, sneaking an ...View Article
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Fleas are annoying, and ticks can carry diseases. Heartworm is a potentially life-threatening infestation with a parasite that lives in the hearts of dogs and cats. However, all of these things can be controlled. Our full-service pharmacy here at Millhopper Veterinary Medical Center in Gainesville has heartworm preventatives and flea and tick control products stocked to meet your needs.
Heartworm is a parasitic infection that is spread by mosquitoes. It does not affect humans, but both dogs and cats can get it. Early stages of infection have no symptoms, which makes it hard to watch out for. There are blood tests to detect whether or not your pet has heartworm, however. Treatment for dogs is possible but expensive, potentially dangerous, and difficult because they must be confined for several months. There is no treatment for cats.
Here in Florida, heartworm is a concern year-round, so pets should be on a preventative all 12 months of the year. In states like Florida where it is warm and wet most of the time, heartworm is endemic and most pets not on preventatives are infected. There are a number of preventatives on the market, including oral and topical medications. Most of these preventatives are combination products that also treat intestinal worms and/or fleas and ticks.
Parasite prevention for fleas and ticks has come a long ways. There are now many different options for treating your pet, some of which require a prescription from your vet and some of which do not. They also come in oral and topical forms.
Ticks are harder to treat than fleas. There are a few products on the market designed to kill ticks and several more that repel them. Currently, there are no oral medications to control ticks. If your pet is exposed to ticks, your options may necessarily be limited to products that kill or repel these parasites. Most tick control products also control fleas, but not all of them do.
Flea preventatives can either kill the adult fleas or prevent the larvae from hatching. Many of the available options are combination products that do both. In most cases, you will need to treat your home as well as your pet in order to truly get rid of fleas. The good news is that modern flea control substances that prevent larvae from hatching are very effective, so it is possible to completely wipe out an infestation.
For the sake of your pet's health and your own, it is important to control parasites. Preventatives protect your pet from heartworm and tick-borne diseases, plus they protect your pet, you, and your home from annoying flea infestations. Here at Millhopper Veterinary Medical Center, we can assess your pet and their lifestyle to recommend the best heartworm preventative and flea/tick control product for you.
Contact us at 352-373-8055 to make an appointment with a veterinarian!