Year round parasite prevention matters to pet health

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are fighting back. As a pet owner, you are probably aware of how annoying these pests can be to you and your pet. But you may not know that experts are now recommending year round parasite prevention.

Parasite Problems

The trouble with parasites is that they not only annoy you and your pet with painful bites, they can also transmit serious diseases. What used to be a problem from May – September is now a year round threat, thanks to warming climates and more resilient bugs. In the Arlington area, we’re just not seeing the seasonal die off of parasites that we used to. So even one missed dose of your pet’s preventive leaves them vulnerable to a host of issues.

Fleas – fleas thrive in warm, humid environments and live easily in our homes and backyards all year round. In addition to spreading tapeworms and Bartonella (cat scratch fever), many pets are highly allergic to flea saliva. Just one flea bite can cause constant itching, hair loss, and chronic, painful infection.

Ticks – it used to be that ticks were only a concern in southern states during the summer and fall, but no more. Even in cold climates, ticks can easily over winter in homes, sheds, garages, and even laundry rooms. It only takes one wam day for them to come out, ready to bite. Tick borne diseases include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, and and other forms of encephalitis.

Mosquitoes – mosquitoes, like ticks, are present year round in all 50 states. We all know that they easily come indoors, leaving even indoor pets at risk. Mosquitoes transmit a disease called heartworm to dogs and cats, a dangerous condition that is difficult and expensive to treat in dogs, and almost always fatal in cats.

Year Round Pet Parasite Prevention

Luckily, all of these parasites are easily prevented with medications that are simple to give, effective, and relatively inexpensive, compared to treatment of the diseases they prevent. Year round pet parasite prevention is important to ensure your pet is completely protected. At your pet’s annual preventive care exam, we’ll discuss your pet’s age, breed, and lifestyle, and decide together which preventives are the best fit for him or her.

Reduce Exposure

In addition to year round preventives, you can reduce exposure to parasites with a few simple measures.

  • Keep your yard trimmed and free of weeds and debris, as these are breeding grounds for bugs.
  • Remove any stagnant water around your home. Even standing water in the bottom of a bucket or watering can is a place for mosquitoes to proliferate.
  • Check your pets daily for fleas and ticks, especially after time outdoors. Keep your pet’s coat well groomed.
  • Racoons, rodents, and squirrels are notorious carriers of parasites of all kinds. Discourage them from coming into your yard by not feeding wildlife, using fencing and other barriers, and keeping trash bins securely covered.

Please talk to us about your pet’s parasite prevention if you have any questions or concerns. And if your pet is not yet on year round preventives, schedule an appointment with Arlington Animal Hospital today so we can get them protected.