We Owe It To Our Pets: The Importance of Monthly Parasite Prevention
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.
Two Steps Back
Something else to consider is that if a pet goes off their heartworm medication, they must be tested before going back on it. If they are positive for heartworm but you don’t know it, any future doses can be really harmful to your pet.
What’s more is that this routine dose every month also does it’s part to guard against intestinal parasites. Since these bugs can actually cause your family trouble, too, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Similarly, fleas and ticks don’t die off in winter. They lie in wait for unseasonably warm days to wake them up. When that happens, they take advantage of a pet whose monthly parasite prevention lapsed over the winter.
Speaking of fleas, don’t forget that a female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day. By the time you notice them, there could be hundreds waiting to hatch on your pet – and throughout your entire home. Most people cringe at the thought of an infestation, but it’s just one more reason to adopt monthly parasite prevention.
Plan for It
If you’re like most of us, it’s just easier to stick with a routine. Plan a date and time every month that your pet gets their “special treat” and don’t stray. This eliminates any guesswork (especially if it’s in your phone calendar!) and keeps your pet safe and healthy all year.
Monthly Parasite Prevention
Whether we’re talking about fleas, ticks, heartworm-carrying mosquitos, intestinal parasites, or mange, our wellness programs keep pets protected all year long. This approach also protects other animals at dog parks, boarding and grooming facilities, and other public places.
If you have additional questions about our suggestions for monthly parasite prevention, please let us know.