Vet Blog

Stacy Boll Answers Questions on Fleas, Ticks & Heartworms

December 02, 2019

What are the services available at your animal health center?

We offer digital x-ray, surgery, dental cleanings, ultrasound, boarding, grooming, and microchipping. Our newest service is dental x-ray. We also offer pet supplies including nutritional items and pet insurance.

What are heartworms and what's a sound prevention strategy?

Heartworms are a parasite transmitted by mosquitos. The recommendation is to use heartworm prevention for all 12 months of the year and to be tested annually. Per the Companion Animal Parasite Council, currently one in every 75 dogs test positive for heartworms in Florida. We carry several types of preventions including topical, oral, and injectable.

How do you choose which type of prevention is best?

Topical treatments are good for pets with food allergies and the orals are perfect for pets with skin issues or that love treats. There is also an injectable heartworm treatment that works for 6 months.

What about my cat?

We have oral and topical options for the prevention of heartworms in cats. It is different however because there is heartworm treatment for dogs, but unfortunately, there are no treatment options for heartworms in cats yet. There is also not an effective way to test for heartworms in cats so prevention is the best course of action.

What are some of the more effective treatment products for fleas and ticks?

We have a variety of prevention options, even all-in-one products that prevent many parasites including heartworms. We cater the prevention to the lifestyle of each pet. We have monthly topical and oral types as well as an oral option for 12 weeks' worth of prevention. We also offer an online store that provides greater convenience for ordering medications, food, and supplies.

How does a pet owner know their pet has intestinal parasites, and what are some of the ways to control outbreaks?

The best way to find out is to have a fecal sample tested. We recommend checking a stool sample at least yearly and more often if there are concerns. Most parasites shed eggs which are only seen under a microscope. That includes harmful protozoon like giardia. Having your pet on a regular heartworm prevention program is the best way to avoid prevalent intestinal parasites like hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, etc. Some of these parasites are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted to humans.