Parasite Prevention

Parasite Prevention in Dogs and Cats

Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks all carry diseases that can be easily spread to your dog or cat. Bites from these pesky parasites can lead to severe skin conditions and other serious health issues. Surprisingly, some of these diseases can also be spread to your human family members.

Parasite prevention is a crucial part of caring for your pet, especially in Arizona. You can help protect your entire family from parasites with regular parasite prevention.

Palo Verde Pet Clinic believes preventive medicine is the best way to keep a pet healthy and happy while also limiting the lifetime cost of care.

Our goal is to work with pet owners to develop the best wellness plan for their companion animal, thus positively impacting the length and quality of their pet’s life.

Lifelong prevention starts here. Schedule an appointment at our Yuma vet clinic today!

Protect Your Pet From Parasites

As a pet owner, you have a lot of love to give but you also have a lot to keep track of when it comes to properly caring for your pet.

The professional staff at Palo Verde Pet Clinic is here to help!

Staying up-to-date on vaccines and preventive medication, with the help of our caring and experienced veterinarians, will positively impact your cat or dog’s long term happiness and longevity.

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Flea bites

What are fleas?

Fleas are wingless, bloodsucking insects that can bite your dog or cat and wreak havoc on their overall health, comfort, and quality of life.

Fleas are the number one cause of skin allergies in both dogs and cats and are very prevalent in Yuma and the surrounding areas. Itching is the most common sign of flea bites and the most common side effects include terrible skin conditions, severe discomfort, and flea anemia among other diseases.

Fleas are attracted to body heat but can also be ingested while an animal is grooming. Soon after an adult flea bites its host (your dog or cat), it quickly begins laying eggs. Did you know that 25 adult fleas can multiply into a quarter of a million fleas in just 30 days?! You can see why it’s important to protect your pet from this parasite.

What are signs my cat or dog has fleas?

Fleas thrive in warm temperatures, like we have in Arizona, as well as high humidity. That means, there are times of the year when you should be more vigilant, but keep in mind that fleas are active all year long in our area so routine visits to your vet clinic are important.

Aside from allergic reactions, fleas can give your pet tapeworms, anemia, and other serious complications. Signs that a dog or cat has fleas is similar in both animals.

Common Reactions to Flea Bites…

  • Allergic reactions with raised bumps and red skin

  • Frequent scratching, chewing, and licking or grooming

  • Loss of fur or bald patches

Signs My Cat or Dog Has Other Health Complications from Fleas…

  • Lethargy and pale gums (could mean anemia caused by blood loss)

  • Visible tapeworm segments found in pet’s stool (tapeworm infection)

  • Weight loss or nutritional diseases (also caused by a tapeworm or similar parasites)

How can I prevent or treat fleas?

Monthly flea preventatives, like tablets/chewables that we recommend, are a must when it comes to basic care for your pet. Fleas are much easier to prevent than to eradicate once they have set up home on your pet or in your residence.

If you suspect your cat or dog has fleas, they are not the only thing you need to worry about treating. Fleas can live in your carpets, fabrics and draperies, furniture, and in your yard, landscaping, and vehicles. Seeking safe, pet-friendly solutions that kill fleas on surfaces in your home or vehicle is also very important to keep your animal safe.

When it comes to fleas, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Tick bites

What are ticks?

Tiny creatures, big threat. According to the CDC, among the estimated 50,000 human cases of vector-borne disease reportedly acquired in the U.S. each year, approximately 80% are associated with ticks.

Much like fleas, they are attracted to body heat and find a host (a dog, cat or even you) to latch onto for sustenance. They can stay attached to their host for up to 10 days. Tick larvae feed on smaller animals like mice, birds, and raccoons first before they grow into adult ticks that feed on larger hosts like dogs, cats, and humans. Ticks feed on blood and this is how they can spread disease between different animals as well as humans.

What are signs my cat or dog was bitten by a tick?

Ticks are one of the most dangerous parasites your pet will ever meet. They patiently but relentlessly bury themselves into their host and transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), ehrlichiosis, and other deadly diseases.

Tick-borne disease is on the rise among pets and people in the United States. General signs and symptoms of tick-borne disease will show up 2-7 days after your dog or cat was bitten.

General Signs of a Tick Bite…

  • Fever

  • Swollen joints or limping

  • Loss of appetite and thirst

  • Lethargy and/or depression

How can I prevent or treat ticks?

Flea and tick medication is commonly paired together in a topical or ingestible pill that helps to prevent parasites from making a snack of your pet. Available treatments can last for several months, so treatment can be easy and effective.

Where there is one tick, there are probably many more! We can help you remove these nasty parasites and treat your pet to prevent reinfestation. If you find a tick on your pet, please give us a call.

Heartworm Disease

What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm is a parasite that can enter your pet’s bloodstream through just one mosquito bite. Heartworm disease damages an animal’s heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver, with untreated outcomes often fatal.

Heartworm prevalence in Arizona is higher than you might think. Originally only a problem in humid southern states, incidence of heartworm is now well documented in California and Arizona.

While prevention and testing are a part of any good wellness plan, it should be of particular importance to any pet owner who travels with their pet.

What are the symptoms of heartworm disease?

Heart larvae can grow up to 12 inches long but it is initially microscopic and can most effectively be detected in animals through routine blood work.

Unfortunately, heartworm disease is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs. Regardless, always be on the lookout for these signs in your pets.

Heartworm in Dogs…

  • Persistent Cough

  • Reluctance to Exercise

  • Decreased Appetite

  • Weight Loss

  • Pale Gums

  • Swollen Belly

Heartworm in Cats …

  • Rapid or Labored Breathing

  • Vomiting

  • Weight Loss

Can you treat heartworm disease?

Although there are effective treatments for dogs and cats in the early stages of heartworm disease, it is definitely something you want to avoid putting your pet through by being on a yearly heartworm preventive.

Like with most diseases, prevention will always be easier and less costly than a cure. Not only are heartworm disease treatments like surgery or injections expensive, but they are also very painful for your pet.

Preventing Fleas, Ticks, and Heartworm Disease

During a pet wellness exam at Palo Verde Pet Clinic, your veterinarian can screen and test for infestations and diseases caused by parasites.

We’ll help you stay informed on ways to prevent parasites at home and put together a wellness plan to make sure your pet is protected year-round.

You can be proactive by bathing and grooming your pet regularly, giving parasite control medication routinely, cleaning your home often, and attending bi-yearly pet wellness exams.

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