Safe Harbor Animal Hospital wants you to know that here in Pensacola, Florida, flea, tick, heartworm and other parasite control is a year-round effort. Prevention is a necessity for keeping your pets safe and comfortable. Parasites are not just a nuisance: some are zoonotic as well, meaning they can be transmitted to humans, causing serious illness. Parasites can even be fatal for your pet.
How Parasites Affect Animals
Parasites that may affect your dog or cat include:
Heartworms - Parasites that live in your pet’s heart and lungs.
External Parasites - Fleas, ticks, and mites
Intestinal parasites – Hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms being the most prevalent.
Heartworm Prevention for Dogs & Cats
Heartworms disease in pets is serious and potentially fatal. The twelve-inch-long worms often live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of infected pets, causing lung disease, heart failure, organ damage, and eventually death.
Common Questions Regarding Heartworm
How does my pet get heartworm?
One bite from an infected mosquito is all it takes to infect your pet with the larval form of the heartworm parasite. Mosquitos then transmit the disease from one animal to the next. The parasites then live in the animal, producing baby worms that circulate in the bloodstream. Heartworms can grow and live for 5-7 years in dogs and three years in cats.
What can I do to protect my pet?
Heartworm disease is preventable! Prevention is the safest and most cost-effective approach, but treatment is available for dogs, although costly and lengthy. Dogs should be tested annually, where cats should be tested before starting prevention and re-tested as the veterinarian deems appropriate. Unfortunately, there is NO treatment for cats.
Safe Harbor Animal Hospital has safe, effective products that cater to you and your pet's lifestyle and budget. Better yet, we provide heartworm prevention year-round with varying options on treatment intervals and dosages.
Fleas, Ticks & Intestinal Parasites
Not all parasites are obvious or visual to the naked eye. Fleas, for instance, can hide under your pet’s fur, and some ticks can be the size of a pinhead. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms, can cause diarrhea, but many infected pets don’t show any signs of illness at all. Ticks can transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella; a bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans.
With a preventative care exam, we can fit your pet with the appropriate medications to help control fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Parasites are both a nuisance and a danger to you and your pet, but being aware and proactive in their prevention can be the key to a healthy lifestyle for your pet. Let us help you. Call Safe Harbor Animal Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, today to start your pet on a parasite prevention and control program!