At Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo, we agree with the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s (CAPC) recommendations that dog and cat owners give them preventive medication for fleas, ticks, and heartworm all year long. On-again and off-again prevention only during the warm months is simply not adequate to protect pets from the serious health consequences of these parasites.
Fleas, for example, have already injected salivary proteins by the time a dog or cat owner notices the pet’s distress. They have transmitted infectious agents and started laying eggs as well. Ticks can transmit serious conditions such as Lyme disease before anyone notices them. Year-round and lifelong protection keeps these pests away from your dog or cat before they can cause serious damage.
Heartworm Now Prevalent in All 50 States
According to the CAPC, heartworm infection in dogs was once limited to those living in coastal areas of the southeastern United States and the lower reaches of the Mississippi River. Unfortunately, confirmed cases of heartworm have been reported in every state in the country as well as much of Canada. Part of the problem is that people are more mobile than ever. Not only do they move frequently, but they take their dogs along with them for outdoor adventures in many parts of the country. This exposes them to a greater risk of acquiring the deadly parasite.
Fortunately, products such as Heartgard provide 100 percent protection against heartworm for both dogs and cats. Without this protection, heartworm could get inside of your pet’s lungs and heart chambers and rapidly reproduce. Dogs could have hundreds of mature heartworms inside of their body at any one time while heartworm typically don’t survive until adulthood in cats. This makes heartworm in cats harder to diagnose and potentially more serious than heartworm in dogs. With chewable, affordable Heartgard tables, year-round protection just makes sense.
Fleas and Ticks Don’t Take a Season Off
While it’s true that fleas thrive in warmer climates, we have our share of hot weather in Minnesota too. It’s also important to keep in mind that a single flea can live up to 100 days with an adequate food supply. That means a flea your pet picked up towards the end of fall could still be present halfway through the winter. Even though fleas aren’t deadly like heartworm and ticks can be, an infestation can make your pet miserable. This is especially true when your pet is allergic to flea saliva and develops a condition called allergic flea dermatitis.
Your pet can get bitten by a tick any time of year, especially living in Minnesota. Along with some of the Northeastern states, the Midwest has the highest Lyme disease rates in the country. It simply isn’t worth taking the risk of limiting parasite control to the warm weather months. Our staff has seen excellent results with Revolution, Frontline, and Nexgard for flea and tick protection in all four seasons.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo with additional questions or to request a product recommendation.
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