Parasites are a serious concern during the warm summer months but can affect your pet year-round. At Cloquet Animal Hospital, we want to ensure you understand your pet’s parasite risks and how to keep your pet protected. 

Here is what you need to know about fleas, ticks, and heartworms and what you can do to prevent them. 

Ticks and Disease

Ticks can be a significant problem for pets who enjoy exploring the woods or running through tall grasses. Ticks can carry a variety of diseases, including Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis. While the symptoms of these diseases can take some time to develop, all of these diseases can have serious effects on your pet’s health and well-being. Some of the symptoms pets may experience include lethargy, fever, inappetence, joint discomfort, and generalized pain. 

Luckily, there are several ways you can help keep your pet protected. Reducing your pet’s exposure to heavily wooded areas and performing frequent tick checks can help reduce your pet’s risk of disease. Additionally, tick preventatives are highly effective and are recommended for pets who frequent tick-infested areas. 

While protecting your pet from ticks is the first step in keeping them safe, there is an additional way you can reduce your pet’s risk of tick-borne disease. A vaccine is available to protect dogs from Lyme Disease and is highly recommended. 

If you would like more information about Lyme disease and prevention, check out our recent article “Prevention of Lyme Disease Month.”

Fighting Fleas 

Just the thought of fleas can make most pet owners’ skin crawl. For pets who spend any time outdoors, fleas are a serious concern. Not only can they cause significant discomfort in your pet, but they can also spread parasites such as tapeworms and cause a severe skin reaction known as flea allergy dermatitis. 

Because of this, it’s essential to ensure your pet is on appropriate flea prevention to keep these pesky parasites at bay. Flea prevention comes in various forms, including topical treatments, collars, and oral medications. If you have questions about which preventative is best for your pet, our team is happy to help and make recommendations based on your pet’s unique needs. 

The Hazards of Heartworm

Heartworms are one of the most concerning parasites that can affect your pet. These dangerous worms are transmitted by mosquitos and enter your pet’s bloodstream when a mosquito bites. Over the course of several months, the parasites travel to your pet’s heart and lungs, where they will mature and grow. 

Unfortunately, heartworms can cause serious damage and are extremely harmful to your pet’s long-term health. While treatment is available for dogs, it can be expensive and difficult for your pet. The same treatment options are not available for cats, which makes prevention even more important. 

While mosquitos are more common during the warmer summer months, we recommend heartworm prevention year-round. We also recommend yearly heartworm tests to ensure your furry friends are parasite free. 

Final Thoughts

Parasite prevention is a critical part of maintaining your pet’s long-term health and helping them live a long and happy life. We hope this information has given you a better understanding of the many risks these parasites pose to your pet’s health and how you can help keep them protected. 

If you have additional questions about parasite prevention or would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 218-879-9280. We look forward to hearing from you and helping your pet remain parasite-free.

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