Most pet owners understand that fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal parasites pose a threat to their furry friends, but they may not know why we recommend year-round prevention, and why we are so adamant about protecting every pet in your household. Check out our list to brush up on eight important pet-parasite facts.
#1: Winter weather does not mean your pet is safe from parasites
Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal-parasite eggs can lurk protected from winter’s harsh weather, only to spring forth once temperatures rise above freezing. Since our Kansas winter weather can rise over the 32-degree mark, parasites can take advantage of the balmy temperatures to find their next meal. So, if you think your pet is safe from parasite infestations during the winter months, think again.
#2: The best way to protect your pet is with year-round parasite prevention
It’s difficult enough to remember your pet’s monthly parasite preventive, but trying to anticipate month-to-month weather patterns, to ensure your furry pal remains protected when the weather warms up, is impossible. You are guaranteed to miss a necessary dose, and your pet could become infected with life-threatening heartworm or tick-borne disease. Keep things simple by giving your pet a year-round preventive on a set schedule.
#3: Your family can contract illness and disease from parasites carried by your pet
While keeping your pet safe from the diseases carried by fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal parasites is vital for her health, your family is also protected against illnesses carried by these same parasites. People rarely develop heartworm disease—heartworms don’t like us—but they can become infected with roundworms, hookworms, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and various other parasite-borne conditions. With proper parasite prevention, you will keep your entire family—two- and four-legged members—safe.
#4: Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal-parasite eggs are designed for survival
Although the cockroach will probably be the lone species left on Earth, other insects also have excellent survival skills. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can easily weather winter’s cold conditions by hitching a ride indoors on a pet, or sneaking through an open door. Despite being stuck outside, they can essentially suspend their life until the temperature warms up enough to search for their next meal. Intestinal-parasite eggs can be similar. Depending on the parasite, the eggs can linger unharmed for months, reinfecting your pet, and potentially your family.
#5: Tiny parasites can spell big trouble for your pet
Though they are but tiny, parasites can cause severe, life-threatening illnesses in your pet.
- Mosquitoes — Can cause heartworm disease
- Ticks — Transmit Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and many more tick-borne illnesses
- Intestinal parasites — Can leach enough nutrition from pets or cause such severe diarrhea that they die
- Fleas — Transmit the plague, and can create an intense flea allergy that can leave your pet miserable with raw skin
#6: All your pets need protection from parasites
You may think your house cat, who never ventures a whisker outdoors, does not need parasite prevention. But, your canine exploration buddy can carry hitch-hiking parasites indoors after an adventure in the woods. Many preventive products do not repel parasites, but kill them only after they bite, which means you or your dog can easily carry them indoors. To ensure your home and your pets remain parasite-free, administer year-round preventive to each pet.
#7: Prevention is much simpler than treating an infestation
If you’ve had the misfortune of battling a flea infestation, you know how incredibly difficult—not to mention costly and time-consuming—fleas are to eradicate from your home, your pet, and your yard. You can avoid waging war on parasites that have taken over your home simply by keeping your pet on a year-round preventive.
#8: Mill Creek Animal Hospital has the tools and products to help protect your pet from parasites
We want to see your pet’s poop—the fresher, the better. That’s right—a fecal sample provides a great deal of information about any intestinal parasites that may be lurking on your pet. By performing a fecal exam, we can ensure your furry pal is intestinal parasite-free, and unlikely to pass on any worms to you.
In addition to checking your pet for intestinal worms, we can check for heartworms with a simple blood test. We can run a quick test in our hospital with a few drops of blood that will let us know if your pet has contracted heartworm, Lyme, or another tick-borne disease.
Once we know your pet’s parasite status, we can form a prevention plan designed to keep her—and your family—safe year-round. Give us a call to schedule your furry friend’s parasite-prevention appointment.