Like all parasites, heartworms and fleas are more easily prevented than treated. At Companion Animal Health & Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Knox recommends starting pets on medications designed to safely protect pets from heartworms and fleas as soon as you adopt. With a parasite screening and expert recommendation, we’ll ensure your pet (and household) stays healthy and parasite-free.
Why Heartworm Prevention Is Essential to Your Pet's Health
Pets, especially dogs, contract heartworm larvae from mosquito bites. The larvae then undergo an entire lifecycle. When they’ve grown into adult heartworms, they settle in the heart and wreak havoc on the entire body. They cause heart and lung disease, can damage your pet’s kidneys and liver, and can eventually lead to death.
Heartworm is also especially difficult and risky to treat once contracted, which means prevention is key. Administering a heartworm preventative to a pet that has already been infected, however, can be fatal. For this reason, we screen every pet for heartworm before recommending an effective preventative treatment.
Why Flea Prevention Is Essential to Your Pet's Health
Both cats and dogs are susceptible to fleas and the many diseases they carry. We recommend preventative treatments for all pets (even those considered indoors-only). Pets tend to pick up fleas in the outdoors or when they have contact with other infected animals.
You can do a little to help prevent your pet from picking up fleas by keeping them away from brushy areas, but this type of prevention will only go so far. Once infected, fleas will lay eggs and continue their reproductive cycle in your home, exposing the entire family to these pests.
How to Choose the Right Parasite Preventatives
There is a seemingly endless variety of topical, oral, and wearable parasite preventatives on the market. Depending on your pet’s size, species, lifestyle, and other pets living in your household, Dr. Knox will recommend an appropriate parasite preventative that will be effective and safe for your whole family.
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