886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Wondering Which Flea,Tick, or Heartworm Product to Use? We Can Help!

2016-05-18

preview full We Can Help

 

Wouldn't it be nice if internal and external parasites would just leave your pet alone? Unfortunately, that's only a dream. Fleas, ticks, heartworm, and other pests threaten your dog or cat's comfort and health every day. Now that spring is in full swing, these parasites are even more of a problem. Grantsburg Animal Hospital is available to evaluate your current parasite control program or help you establish one for the first time.
 
Fleas: A Wingless, Blood-Sucking Insect
Fleas are microscopic parasites that can jump up to two feet in the air and consume up to 15 times their weight in blood. A single flea can live between two weeks and 12 months, producing millions of offspring in that time. Fleas spend the majority of their short life in the environment, not on your pet's fur. This can make them hard to detect.
 
While some pets don't show any sign of having fleas, most display at least some itching. Dogs and cats with flea allergy dermatitis are allergic to the flea's saliva. This can cause severe itching, loss of fur, hot spots, and excessive licking. To keep pets out of your home, be sure to wash your pet's bedding in hot water weekly, keep the grass cut and brush cut short, and eliminate dark, damp places they can hide.
 
Ticks: A Tiny Parasite That Can Cause Serious Diseases
Ticks burrow into your pet's fur and often can't be seen until they become engorged with blood. They tend to bite most often on the ears, neck, sides, and paws. Ticks are more than just a nuisance since they can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and other serious diseases. The Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recommends these prevention tips:
  • Be certain to check your pet daily for ticks and remove them immediately using a tweezers. It's important not to twist as you pull up since this could leave part of the tick's body lodged in your pet.
  • As with flea prevention, keep grass and brush height to a minimum, remove leaf litter, and clear debris away from your home and the edge of your lawn.
  • Request your veterinarian to conduct a tick check at each exam and make sure you're aware of specific tick-borne diseases common to the Grantsburg and Wild River areas.
 

Our veterinary staff highly recommends Bravecto for both flea and tick prevention. It is an oral chew for dogs that you give just once every 12 weeks. We also offer Nexgard, which is a monthly flea and tick oral product. We are happy to make specific product recommendations for dogs and cats. It's very important to never give a flea and tick preventive meant for a dog to a cat and vice versa.
 
Heartworms, Roundworms, and Other Intestinal Parasites
Your dog or cat can become an unwilling host to many different types of intestinal parasites. The most common ones include:
  • Heartworms: This parasite is transmitted through a mosquito bite. Heartworms can grow to several inches long inside of your pet's heart, lungs, or intestinal tract. Severe infestation can cause respiratory distress or even death.
  • Roundworms: Dogs and cats can pick up roundworms through contact with infected feces. This parasite interferes with the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
  • Whipworms: Contaminated whipworm eggs are typically found in soil. They are common in dogs but rare in cats. Ingested whipworms can grow in the large intestine of your dog and reproduce.
  • Hookworms: This parasite is picked up in the same manner as whipworms. It can cause anemia, pale gums, and severe blood loss because hookworms survive by ingesting blood.
  • Tapeworms: Typically transmitted by fleas, tapeworm causes your pet to scoot on her rear end to relieve the discomfort. They can make your pet become malnourished.
 

Grantsburg Animal Hospital recommends Interceptor Plus, a new product that controls all five of these types of worms. We also offer Heartgard Plus, which prevents heartworms and treats and controls roundworms and hookworms. You can find all of these parasite control products in our online store.

 
Photo Credit: Darrell Kroulik

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