Get rid of those pesky critters.
Pets are easy targets for parasites and small insects. Common parasites like fleas, ticks and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes feed on pets, potentially infecting them with many dangerous diseases at the same time. Discover how these tiny pests can cause big problems, and learn how you can prevent them.
These bloodsucking insects feed on mammals and lay eggs in their fur. Fleas can transmit tapeworms and murine typhus and can cause dermatitis and anemia. One flea can reproduce nearly 50 times a day, so a flea infestation is a substantial threat to your pet’s well-being. Flea infestations often spread throughout the home quickly, which makes them tough to eradicate.
Ticks lurk in shrubs and tall grass, and they feed on mammals’ blood. Although they are nearly microscopic, ticks are some of the most potent dangers to your pet’s health. A single tick bite can transmit a host of potentially fatal diseases, including Lyme disease, typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis.
Although it’s rare, it’s possible for ticks to transfer from animals to humans, so ticks are threats to your whole family. Special care should be made to inspect your pet, and yourself, after any woodland activities.
Heartworm-carrying mosquitoes represent a lethal danger to your pet. When an infected mosquito bites your pet, it transmits heartworm larva. The larva then slowly develops and makes its way to the heart. Once in the heart, it multiples within your pet’s pulmonary artery, leading to constricted blood flow, heart disease and, in advanced stages, major organ failure.
We recommend annual fecal testing for all our patients. Many pets are born with internal parasites that are passed to them through their mother, but pets can easily pick them up in their adulthood. From going on walks, hikes, drinking stagnant water from pools, ponds, lakes or fountains, meeting new dog friends or even in our own backyard. Internal parasites cannot be seen by the naked eye, and many of our pets may be walking around with internal parasites without us knowing or seeing any symptoms. The most common internal parasites seen in our pets is roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms and protozoa, such as, giardia and coccidia.
Parasite Prevention at Santa Clarita Animal Hospital
Regular application of anti-parasitic medication is the best way to keep your pet free of nasty parasites. Talk with your Santa Clarita Animal Hospital veterinarian to determine the best parasite control products for your pet.
Santa Clarita Animal Hospital’s parasite prevention plans include:
- Pet examination and testing
- Parasite control consultation with a Santa Clarita Animal Hospital veterinarian
- Access to industry-best medicine and equipment
Schedule an appointment at Santa Clarita Animal Hospital as soon as you can if you suspect that your cat or dog is already infected with parasites.