Flea, Tick & Heartworm Prevention in the Exeter Area
Keep Parasites Away with Proactive Care
Not only are parasites uncomfortable in and of themselves, but they can also carry dangerous diseases that can cause serious health problems in your cats or dogs. At Veterinary Emergency & Surgery Hospital, our Exeter veterinarians recommend proactive preventative care for your pets so that they can avoid fleas, ticks, and heartworms. Depending on your pet’s age and lifestyle, we may recommend different approaches to your pet’s preventative care. Ultimately, it is hugely beneficial for you and your pet to take steps to protect your pet’s health with monthly preventatives.
We recommend taking preventative action against:
- Other parasites
Fleas & Your Pet
Fleas are small insects that bite your pet to feed on their blood. Spring marks the beginning of flea season, so if your pet spends time outside or comes into contact with infected pets, it’s important to take steps to protect your pet from these pesky bugs.
Fleas reproduce rapidly, which can cause a small infestation to increase exponentially within a short period of time. The eggs that fleas lay can cling to your pet’s coat, but also cling to other surfaces in your home, like carpet, upholstered furniture, blankets, and many more items in your home.
The most common issue related to a flea infestation is flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), which is caused by the saliva of the flea. This can cause a severe skin rash and hair loss in sensitive pets. Fleas can also cause anemia in severe cases. Finally, fleas can also play host to yet another parasite, the tapeworm.
If your pet is an outdoor animal or is exposed to animals who go outdoors, we recommend considering a topical flea repellant to keep your pet safe from fleas.
Like fleas, ticks are a parasite that feeds on blood. They are typically found outdoors, hiding in tall grass and wooded areas. Ticks attach to the skin to feed on their host for up to 48 hours. The tick itself is nasty enough, but, also like fleas, they can pass along other dangerous diseases through their bite.
Ticks can pass along diseases such as:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
All of the diseases listed above can be fatal. Protect your pet from ticks with preventative topical treatments.
Heartworms are spread by another blood-sucking parasite ꟷ the mosquito. Heartworms are parasitic worms that infect the arteries of the lungs and, occasionally, the right side of the heart. Our Exeter veterinary team recommends that heartworm prevention is started as early as 6 weeks old. These parasites can cause fatal complications and live for up to 7 years in a host animal. Treating a heartworm infection can be dangerous ꟷ don’t wait to get your pet on a heartworm preventative treatment.
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