For most people, summer means fun in the sun, with lots of time spent outdoors hiking, biking, swimming and just soaking up the rays for as long as possible. For pet owners, summer brings some much less appealing company: fleas, ticks and heartworm. Although they’re tiny creatures, these parasites can cause a host of health problems for your cat or dog, and it’s in your best interest to ensure your pet doesn’t fall victim to infestation.
The good news about fleas, ticks and heartworm is that there are numerous preventative measures you can take to avoid subjecting your pet to unnecessary risk. Avoiding parasites will make your life a whole lot easier, too. Talk to your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ to learn more about preventing flea, tick and heartworm infestation. Here’s a look at each of these parasites, and at what they might mean to you and your pet.
If you have pets and live in an area prone to heat and humidity, you should be especially alert for the presence of fleas. Once you’ve noticed fleas or flea eggs on your pet, or even if your pet seems to be scratching or trying to clean itself more than usual, you should act quickly to avoid an infestation, and remember that one visible flea may mean you have many more invisible visitors waiting to attack. A monthly flea medication, taken regularly, can be extremely effective at preventing flea infestation as well as serious health complications for your dog or cat.
Unlike fleas, at least you don’t have to worry too much about infestation when it comes to ticks. But if your cat spends time outdoors or you like to take your dog out and about, you still need to be aware of the signs that a tick has attached itself to your pet, as ticks carry a variety of serious diseases, including Lyme disease. Checking for ticks after your pet has been outdoors is relatively simple: run your hands over your pet’s coat, feeling for bumps, and if you find a tick, carefully remove it with a pair of tweezers. Again, ask your veterinarian about preventative medications that may be available.
Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal illness transmitted by mosquito bites, which cause the growth and reproduction of parasitic worms in the heart and arteries of cats and dogs. If your pet seems unusually fatigued, has lost weight or is coughing or vomiting, it may be a sign of heartworm infection. Heartworm is treatable if caught in time, but the process can be time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, many medications that offer flea prevention also double as heartworm preventatives, which means that heartworm disease can be easily prevented with the use of the right medicines.
At Newkirk Family Veterinarians, we’re committed to providing holistic treatment for all kinds of issues that might be ailing your pet, including fleas, ticks and heartworm. If you’re looking for a veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, come see us. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!