pet parents hugging dog after parasite prevention

Pet parasite prevention should be of the utmost importance to a pet parent. Taking precautions throughout the year to prevent pet parasites will extend your pet’s health & longevity. Every pet deserves the best health care possible, including year-round pet parasite prevention. It’s much less expensive and risky to prevent a parasite problem than treating a pet infected by a parasite. The staff at Bayside Animal Hospital is here to provide the best information so you can protect your pet’s health. After all, pets are family, and we want them to live long, healthy lives by your side. 

Pets May Adversely React to Flea Bites

veterinarian checking dog for health issues due to pet parasites

If your pet comes in contact with just one or two fleas and has a flea allergy, they risk becoming very sick. While not all pets are allergic to fleas, those who are can experience painful skin infections that are costly to treat. The most common flea in Texas is the cat flea, which can live on any type of animal, including dogs. Meaning fleas can jump from other animals and directly onto your pets. Getting rid of them is hard work and includes treating them for fleas and preventing future infestations with parasite prevention, such as a chewable tablet or other medicine–as prescribed by your veterinarian.

At home, there will be much cleaning–including your pet’s bedding, living quarters, and anywhere your pet frequents. Overall, using pet parasite prevention saves you time, effort, and energy, and protects your pet’s health, whether they have an allergy or not. Parasites are called pests for a good reason. 

Prevent Deadly Diseases from Ticks

Sick cat resting in chair needs pet parasite prevention

Ticks can transmit harmful diseases to your pet with just one bite. Some types of ticks can paralyze dogs and may carry Lyme disease, which can cause lameness, loss of appetite, fatigue, and even kidney failure. The harm ticks can do to a pet is no joke, and it’s essential to your pet’s health to keep ticks off of your pets completely. Tick-bourne diseases can lead to swelling, seizures, muscle pain, diarrhea, and fatal issues. 

While ticks are most active in the warmer months, they are still active along the Gulf coast during the winter and cooler months. That’s why we recommend protecting your pets from ticks all year long. We also suggest regularly inspecting your yard for ticks and destroying any populations you may find. Dogs should have a chewable tablet or another parasite preventative once a month in most cases or as directed by your vet. Talk to our veterinary staff about getting a topical treatment to kill ticks if they’re a risk to your cats.

Pet Parasite Prevention Stops Heartworms

Heartworms can be deadly to pets. There’s no treatment for infected cats, and treating a pup can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity. Please take the proper precautions to ensure your pet isn’t affected by heartworm. We all like to think positively. We like to think, “My pet will be safe and fine,” until we’re horrified to learn they’re infected. Texas ranks among the top 10 states for heartworm, but edible, injectable, and topical treatments are available to keep your pet safe. Ask us about getting a heartworm test for your pet, followed by a year’s prescription for heartworm prevention.

Intestinal Parasites can be Passed to Humans

white dog being held by human mom, healthy with pet parasite prevention

Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms are only a few intestinal parasites that can make your pet sick. Each one is an additional reason to practice parasite prevention, and some can be transmitted to humans–putting you at risk, too. Pet intestinal parasites can cause skin and coat issues, and wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system. Your pet should be tested annually to ensure they have no harmful intestinal parasites. 

To lessen the chance of your dog or cat picking up dog parasites or cat parasites in the first place, here are a few easy precautions. Start by promptly picking up your dog’s feces after they go potty. Clean your cat’s litter box often. Cover any sandboxes in your yard when pets are around so they don’t use them as a pet bathroom. These are breeding grounds for pet parasites and bacteria.

Protect Your Pet’s Health with Parasite Prevention

pet parents hugging their health fur baby after parasite prevention

The most important reason to start a pet parasite prevention plan and continue it throughout the year is to protect your pet’s health. A pet owner is responsible for providing them with the essentials in life, including health care. While parasite prevention has a monthly cost, it’s much less expensive than a vet bill for treating infection by a parasite–and it keeps your pet around for many more years.

Cat parasites and dog parasites can be a real problem in South Texas due to our warm temperatures throughout the year. Please contact Bayside Animal Hospital about setting up a parasite prevention plan if you don’t already have one in place. Taking good care of your pet’s health will ensure that they live a long and healthy life by your side.