Veterinarians routinely hear questions about the necessity of monthly parasite prevention, but this question is more common in the colder months.
Sure, December-February are pretty chilly in Nashville, but that doesn’t always mean that all the bugs die off. Most parasites become dormant in winter, but with rising temperatures they wake up – and begin the search for their first blood meal of the season.
Tempting, but Risky
It’s not unheard of for some pet owners to stop monthly parasite prevention as soon as it starts to get cold outside. This practice might save a few bucks, but it leaves pets completely exposed to the life cycles of different parasites.
The lack of buzzing, whining mosquitoes does not mean that pets cannot be infected with heartworm disease. In fact, they can still survive in temperatures under 50 degrees. Monthly parasite prevention protects your pet from a single bite from an infected mosquito, but also kills off any worms that may be deposited into their bloodstream.
A single missed dose can leave the door wide open for these sometimes deadly parasites.Continue…
Dealing with fleas and ticks is one of the downsides of pet ownership, but it is one that must be tackled head on. Fleas and ticks can cause significant problems for your pet and for their human family members. Learning about these pesky parasites – namely, what you can do to prevent them from coming into contact with your pet – is a critically important part of responsible pet ownership.
Fleas pack a powerful punch for being so tiny (an adult flea is about 1-2 mm in length). A female can lay up to 50 eggs in a day, which is why it only takes a few fleas on your pet to cause a full-blown infestation in your home.
Yes, they’re annoying and cause serious discomfort for your pet, but fleas can also pass on some pretty nasty pathogens, including Bartonella (cat-scratch fever), tapeworm, and even Bubonic plague.
Flea and tick medication is essential to keep these pests away from your pet. Bathing and brushing your pet regularly, and making sure their bedding and other items are laundered frequently, will also help to cut down on the chances of fleas completing their life cycle in your home. Continue…