The most common parasites troubling pets and their owners are fleas and ticks. Not only are they uncomfortable for your animal companions, but also they carry diseases and take over your home. The professionals at Parrett Veterinary Clinic advise owners to prevent parasites before they make your pets and family members sick and miserable.
Fleas are fairly easy to prevent and can be quite difficult to get rid of, especially from your carpeting, furniture, and beds. Look for tiny brown spots on your pet's skin, especially near the tail and on the belly. Symptoms include skin inflammation and continuous scratching or biting.
At every wellness visit, we develop a preventive program based on your needs and the lifestyle of your pet. If you notice your pet scratching frequently, or if the animal has fleas at the time of adoption, contact our clinic immediately. We can assist you in addressing the problem before it becomes a serious and expensive challenge.
Ticks are frequently found in our climate, especially in wooded, damp, and grassy areas. They easily and quickly attach to your pet. A tick bite may carry serious and deadly diseases such as Lyme disease, tick-borne fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Treatment for tick-borne disease is available, but immediate veterinary diagnosis and intervention is necessary.
Signs of diseases from a tick bite include lameness, weakness, cough, labored breathing, discharge from eyes or nose, poor appetite, and fatigue. If your pet becomes lethargic, depressed, or feverish, or you identify any of these symptoms, contact our clinic at once.
Flea & Tick Treatments
Your Parrett veterinarian does not recommend over-the-counter treatments for external parasites. Many of these products can be ineffective and toxic. We are happy to suggest the most effective products for your pet's needs and lifestyle.
Pet Meds for Internal Parasites
The majority of puppies and kittens are born with intestinal parasites and should be dewormed. Continued exposure to these parasites comes from the mother's milk, therefore we perform a follow-up deworming after the pet is fully weaned. Kittens and puppies should be dewormed as needed during the initial wellness visits and have follow-up intestinal parasite screenings done.
Protect Your Family From Parasites
A strong intestinal parasite control program is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to the incidence of hookworm and roundworm infections in humans. While children can become infected with worms from animals, good sanitation and parasite control will minimize your family's risk.
Current recommendations from the Companion Animal Parasite Council is for deworming of all puppies and kittens at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 weeks; this is followed by two intestinal parasite screenings two to four weeks apart, and then bi-annual screenings.
Visit Healthy Pets, Healthy People, from the CDC, for more information and guidance.