These are the most common parasites in dogs and cats. The eggs and larvae of these parasites are found everywhere. They are unknowingly injected but the pet. Some of these organisms present a direct threat to you. Routine fecal checking is the key to controlling this. Some of the heartworm preventions also have ingredients which will deworm the patient once per month when the Heartworm Prevention is given.
Endemic in this geographical region is carried from infected dogs (of which there are many in this area) to uninfected dogs by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry "infective larvae" from the infected dog to the next dog that they bite. Heartworms cause cardiac disease and death at a young age. This disease can EASILY BE PREVENTED by giving monthly medication that inactivates the larvae before they can cause the disease.
Fleas are the leading cause of skin disease in dogs and cats. This is because of the irritation the flea bites cause in most patients. Fleas draw blood when they bite. Very small patients can become anemic from a flea infestation. Tapeworm larvae are found inside adult fleas and when the flea is caught and swallowed the tapeworm emerges in the patient's intestinal tract. Fleas carry a blood parasitic disease called Bartinellosis. This disease frequently leads to marked anemia as the patient fights the disease.
Ticks are abundant in this area. They carry three diseases which affect our canine patients. They are: Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis. Lyme disease symptoms vary with what system the infectious Borrelia organism invades. Frequently it is joint tissue which leads to painful lameness. It can also invade the central nervous system which can lead to neurologic disease. Ehrlichia is a blood parasite which can lead to anemia or bleeding problems. Anaplasmosis also causes joint pain and related lethargy.
Flea and Tick Control
Control of fleas and ticks has two components: the pet and the premise. We have both oral and topical products to control fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. These products are highly effective but cannot be expected to prevent parasite problems. In environments where there is a significant population of fleas, or ticks some premise control must be also performed.