Parasite control means protecting your pet against multiple species of external and internal parasites that can affect your dog or cat. While a single injection would be an ideal manner in which to treat such concerns, there is no one injection that can resolve these problems. External parasites are generally controlled through monthly preventive therapies in the forms of topical applications or pills given orally. Internal parasites are often treated as the infections are noted upon intestinal parasite exams with medications that are given either orally or through injection.
It is thought that 30% to 50% of dogs and cats carry gastrointestinal (GI) parasites and that 1 to 3 million people in the U.S. have infections from the same parasites carried by pets. Children, the elderly, and immune-compromised people are at high risk for becoming infected by the parasites carried by pets. While there are products available over the counter that state they will “deworm” your pet, not all parasites can be treated with the same medication to resolve the different types of parasites your pet may have.
Mosquitoes are another concern for pets as they can transmit heartworms when they take a blood meal. Dogs, cats, and ferrets can become infected with this parasite year round in warm climates since it is spread by mosquitoes. Pets that do not go outside are still at risk for infection as mosquitoes still get into the house!! Heartworms take four to six months to mature before they can be detected by blood tests, and if not treated, the disease causes severe side effects that can be fatal. Your pet will not likely show any symptoms of heartworm disease in the early stages, but eventually infected pets develop signs such as a cough, weakness, exercise intolerance, and an enlarged abdomen. Heartworms are parasites that do not affect people, but can cause devastating disease or even death in our pets if left untreated. Yearly heartworm screening tests are designed to catch the infection while it is still in the early stages and we have the best chance at successful treatment. Monthly heartworm prevention is the best way to stop your pet from getting this life threatening infection.