Do you have a pet? Are you keeping up with their flea and tick prevention in Searcy, AR? You may not realize it, especially if this is your first time as a pet parent, but parasite prevention can go a long way toward helping improve the overall health and wellness of your pet.
In the article below, you’ll find out more information about parasite prevention. You can use this information to choose which types of parasite prevention you want to give your pet and when to talk to our veterinarian about these options.
Common Parasites Found in Searcy, AR
Fleas are one of the most common types of parasites that affect most pets. If your pet has fur, they may be prone to developing an infestation of fleas. Hairless animals are susceptible to getting fleas, too.
Ticks are yet another very common parasite. They can latch onto your pet’s skin when walking in wooded or grassy areas, and they can quickly bite into and bury under the skin as well. They are known for spreading Lyme disease as well as Ehrlichia, commonly known as Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Several types of intestinal parasites (sometimes just referred to as “worms”) can affect pets, too. These parasites find their way into the animal’s digestive system and cause stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and appetite issues. In very young and very old pets, these parasites can be fatal if they cause severe dehydration.
Heartworms affect dogs much more often than cats, but they can also affect cats. These worms make their way into the pet’s heart and lungs, and they can eventually cause so much strain on the heart that they become fatal. Dogs can live many years with heartworms, but tend to be quickly fatal to cats.
Common Prevention Methods
The most common type of parasite prevention for pets is topical medication. Topical medication is usually placed behind the pet’s shoulder blades, in a location where she cannot lick it off easily. This medication is used to prevent flea infestations as well as tick bites, and it is fairly thorough at doing so. Some pet owners prefer not to use these chemicals directly on the pet’s skin, so if you’re looking for other options, you should talk to your veterinarian for more information.
Oral medication is becoming more and more common in the prevention of parasites as well. Oral medications can be given to pets to cover fleas, ticks, heartworms, and some intestinal parasites all in one pill. These are usually given monthly, although your vet will tell you for sure just how often you need to medicate your pet.
Flea baths are more commonly used as treatments for flea infestations, but they may work as a preventative if you keep up with them as well. If you plan to give your pet a regular flea bath, do not use medicated, chemical shampoo; instead, opt for soothing oatmeal shampoo or another, more natural option.
All-natural treatments can be used to prevent fleas and ticks, but they should be avoided for heartworms and most intestinal parasites. Fleas and ticks respond well to the use of herbal collars and other types of herbal or natural remedies that are safe for use on pets.
Antibiotics are usually used as a treatment for severe infestations of intestinal parasites. However, there may be some instances in which your vet gives them as a preventative for intestinal parasites. This is usually true following a serious infection, in order to prevent your pet from becoming sick again right away.
Dogs must be kept on monthly heartworm prevention medication to remove the risk of being infected with heartworms. Although it isn’t required for cats, it is still a good idea to consider heartworm medication if your cat is at any increased risk of developing heartworms.
Home Cleaning and Maintenance
Keeping your home and lawn tidy and maintained can make a big difference in preventing your pet from developing parasites like fleas, ticks, and some intestinal parasites. A clean and neat home and lawn will be less likely to provide breeding spaces for parasites, so their numbers will dwindle quickly.
Is Your Searcy, AR, Pet Up to Date on their Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Prevention?
As you can see, there are many potential illnesses and conditions you can treat, manage, or prevent altogether in your pet by ensuring they are kept up to date on all their parasite preventions. Some of these parasites may require medication to prevent, while others can sometimes be prevented by natural methods.
Thank you for choosing Liles Animal Clinic as your pet's veterinarian in Searcy, AR. We are committed to providing exceptional veterinary care from your pet’s first days to their final moments. Our veterinary clinic facilities have been designed to assist us in providing routine preventive care for healthy pets, early detection diagnostics for aging pets, and complete medical and surgical care for pets at all life stages.