The Importance of Heartworm and Flea Prevention

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Summer may be over, but heartworm and flea prevention is just as important as ever. It seems that mosquito’s linger longer and longer each year. It’s November and I just got bit twice today! So, whether you are hitting trails with your dog or just letting your pets outside potty breaks and exercise, they need to be protected all year long

  • Why is it so important?

Mosquitoes, ticks and fleas are pests. There’s no doubt about that. But even more than being a nuisance of itchy red bites, they carry real health risks.

Mosquitoes are the carriers of heartworms. It only takes one infected mosquito to give your dog or cat heartworm disease. While most pets show no symptoms in the early stages, if left untreated, heartworm disease causes heart failure in dogs and lung damage in cats.

Fleas & Ticks are also transmitters of a host of deadly diseases. Fleas transmit very scary illnesses such as the plague, typhus, and parasitic worms, just to name a few. Ticks can cause Lyme Disease, anemia, and paralysis. All of these are very serious.

  • Methods of prevention:

It is far easier to prevent these conditions than to treat them. That is, if you can treat them. There are heartworm treatments for dogs, but is expensive and can have serious side effects. There is no treatment available for feline heartworm disease, so prevention for both species is key. Most commonly you will find oral and topical medications.

Flea, Tick and Heartworm Preventatives  (Source
Product Chemical(s) Administration Fleas Ticks Heartworm
Capstar Nitenpyram Oral as needed Yes No No
Advantage Imidacloprid Topical monthly Yes No No
K9 Advantix Imidacloprid/Permethrin Topical monthly Yes Yes No
Frontline Plus Fipronil/Methoprene Topical monthly Yes Yes No
Revolution Selamectin Topical monthly Yes Yes Yes
Sentinel Lufenuron/Melbemycin/Oxime Oral Monthly Yes No Yes

Bathing and grooming also play an important part of keeping heartworms, fleas and ticks at bay. Also, frequently vacuuming your pet’s beds as well as areas they play and lounge in helps to prevent these pests.        

As always, talk to your vet for advice regarding heartworm and flea prevention. All of our pets have different needs and daily lives. Depending on their age, activity level and environment, your vet will help you determine which type of prevention is best for you.

What type of prevention do you use on your pets? Let us know in the comments!

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