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Summer in the City: Why Parasite Prevention Is So Important

As the temperature rises, so does your pet’s risk of parasite infestation. Fleas and ticks thrive during the summer months, as well as mosquitoes, which can transfer heartworm disease to dogs and cats. At this time, it’s more important than ever to make sure your pet is protected.

Heartworm

Heartworm is transferred by the bite of a mosquito, and as we all know, summer is prime mosquito season. It doesn’t matter what city you’re in either – heartworm disease has spread to all areas of the United States. When a dog or cat is bitten by an infected mosquito, heartworm larvae are transferred to the bloodstream. Once the larvae have reached maturity, they make their home in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels, where they reproduce and block the flow of blood in and out of the heart. Although heartworm is difficult and costly to treat, fortunately it is easy to prevent with a monthly medication. Heartworm preventatives work by killing the parasite while it is still in its larval stage. If your pet is not on a preventative medication, we recommend talking to your veterinarian as soon as possible to get your pet started on one – prevention is the best cure for heartworm.

Fleas & Ticks

You may be thinking: I live in the city. Do I really have to worry about fleas and ticks?

The answer is yes. Even indoor pets run the risk of encountering these nasty parasites. Ticks can transfer Lyme disease and other serious conditions to your pet, while fleas can cause a very uncomfortable allergic reaction. These parasites also pose a threat to your family, as a tick carried in on a pet can transfer disease to a human, and fleas are known to bite humans. Luckily, fleas and ticks are easy to prevent with a monthly medication. Many treatment options combine flea and tick prevention in one medication, making it especially easy to protect against both. Flea and tick prevention comes in all different forms, including collars, sprays, and shampoos, but the most effective way to protect your pet from these parasites is a monthly topical medicine. Talk to your veterinarian about the best prevention plan for your pet.

Don’t let these parasites ruin your summer! Make sure your pet is protected so that you can get outside and enjoy the great weather without worrying about fleas or ticks.