When Springtime Bites: Practicing Parasite Prevention
When it comes to spring, thoughts of vacations, sunny afternoons, bountiful gardens, and outdoor grilling come to mind. However, parasite prevention should also top your list of important things to consider this time of year.
Sure, just thinking about fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes is enough to make your skin crawl, but protecting your pet (and your family) against these harmful pests is essential all year long!
The Problem with Pests
Besides being annoying, parasites can transmit serious diseases to pets and to people.
Fleas were responsible for spreading such things as the plague and can cause serious dermatological inflammation in your cat or dog. Deer ticks can carry a range of zoonotic conditions (i.e., transferrable to people), including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Pets can bring these pests into the home and your community, so parasite prevention is the best thing you can do for your companion, your family, and your neighborhood.
Conquer Those Fleas
Parasite prevention begins with year-round treatments and screenings. Screenings are necessary before we can administer a product. This is a critical factor in heartworm medications. Serious complications can arise if an infected pet is given the wrong preventive.
Many over-the-counter canine flea and tick products are extremely toxic to cats. To avoid an emergency, always purchase your pet’s medications and preventives through a veterinarian.
At Hallsville Veterinary Hospital, we recommend a monthly prescription treatment for parasite prevention. During your pet’s annual wellness exam, we’re happy to discuss other risks, such as heartworm disease which is a significant threat in our region.
Additional Tips for Parasite Prevention
Along with annual screenings, a monthly preventive, and deworming, you can also take action around your home and yard. To dissuade harmful pests, practice the following:
- Pick up after your pet. Feces can attract parasites and spread disease.
- Dump out buckets, birdbaths, and drains so as not to attract mosquitoes.
- Mow your grass regularly and keep the yard weed-free.
- Avoid spending time outside when pests are most active (e.g., dusk).
- Keep your pet well-groomed, and check his or her skin regularly.
- Wash pet bedding weekly and vacuum fabrics and rugs frequently.
- Keep all sandboxes covered.
Spring may bring the creepy-crawlies out, but you can protect your pet and your home against harmful pests, during all four seasons. Please contact us with additional questions and concerns.