Heartworm, Flea and Tick Prevention
Let’s protect your pet.
As a pet owner, you probably find yourself worrying about all the major threats to your beloved companion’s health and well-being. Some of these threats are so tiny that they may seem insignificant, when in fact they could endanger your pet’s life. Heartworms, fleas, and ticks are three particularly common and troublesome parasites that can cause debilitating or even fatal illness in animals. That’s why it’s so important for you to seek heartworm, flea and tick prevention on your furry friend’s behalf and it’s why we are happy to provide such preventative measures here at The Goodland Pet Hospital.
Heartworm is a long, spaghetti-like worm. Mosquitos inject the larvae into your pet’s bloodstream, where they naturally migrate toward the heart and lungs for incubation and growth into their adult form. Adult worms can live for years inside these structures; cats may have only a few of them, while dogs can harbor hundreds. Over time your pet may display fatigue, loss of appetite, breathing problems and other symptoms before finally dying from the infiltration.
Fleas and ticks are serious concerns as well. Both creatures can trigger dermatitis, compelling your pet to scratch at the skin hard enough to cause injuries that promote bacterial infection. Fleas transmit tapeworms, cat scratch disease, and even bubonic plague, while ticks can expose your pet to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichia and Lyme disease. Even the anemia produced by blood loss can be fatal to sick, elderly or baby animals.
Heartworm, flea and tick prevention is always preferable to treating an infestation in progress. While adult fleas and ticks can certainly be removed and killed, they may have already transmitted their deadly disease payload by that point. Treating an advanced case of heartworm is a long, difficult and not always successful process in dogs; cats cannot safely receive heartworm treatment at all, making heartworm prevention an absolute must.
Fortunately, preventative medications do an admirable job of keeping heartworms, fleas, and ticks at bay. Many of these medications are formulated to guard against all three parasites; some, such as Revolution, Advantage Multi and Trifexis, protect against others as well. Preventative medications typically have to be administered like clockwork on a monthly schedule to provide lasting, ongoing protection. Options may include topical medicines, protective collars or chewable tablets.
Why Flea & Tick Prevention is Important
Parasite prevention is an important part of every pet’s wellness regimen. Without it, flea or tick exposure could affect their health, happiness, and even your family’s health. That’s why we recommend parasite preventatives for every patient. Whether you have an active dog who plays outside or an indoor-only cat, your pet faces some risk of fleas, ticks, and other parasites, and prevention is far better than treatment.
So, why is it so important to protect your pets from fleas and ticks? Here are some of the consequences of pet parasite bites and infestations:
- Itchy, irritated skin
- Open wounds from scratching irritated skin
- Tapeworms (internal parasites from swallowing fleas)
- Anemia from too much parasitic feeding
- Lyme Disease from infected ticks
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from infected ticks
- Flea infestations in your home
Common Flea & Tick Prevention Methods
Most dogs and cats (past the age of six weeks) should be on some form of flea and tick prevention. Our veterinarian will help you decide which flea and tick preventatives are right for your pets, but your options include:
- Oral Medications
- Spot-On Liquids
Some medications are designed to kill adult fleas, while others kill fleas and ticks. Some prevent breeding and maturation (including preventing eggs from hatching), which is a more comprehensive method of protection for animals who need it.
Welcome to The Goodland Pet Hospital!
We're open five days a week to serve the pets of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Ventura, Carpinteria, and surrounding areas.
For emergencies, please call ahead so we may be prepared for your arrival.
Fri: 8 am – 5 pm