Summer is short in Minnesota, so it's important to take the time to savor the moments with the ones you love, including your pets. The warmermonths provide the perfect opportunity to spend quality time playing outdoors together. Unfortunately, more time outside also means a great risk of parasite infection. Here's what you need to know about the most problematic pet parasites in order to keep your pet healthy and happy this summer:
· Fleas and Ticks: The prevalence of these annoying critters peak between May and September. The ideal temperature for fleas and ticks to live and reproduce is 70 to 85 degrees. Since they can survive at much lower temperatures, it's essential for Minnesota pet owners to provide their dog or cat with year-round flea and tick protection. These parasites can make your pet miserable by causing itching, scratching, and allergic dermatitis.
· Heartworms: This parasite can reach up to one foot in length. It lives inside the lungs, heart, and blood vessels of animals that are infected with it. Heartworm is transmitted through mosquito bites or when a pet is exposed to feces or vomit from another infected animal. At Cedar Pet Clinic, we recommend Heartgard for year-round protection from internal parasites. Keeping up with regular, monthly doses of medication is the best defense against this internal parasite. We will prescribe the appropriate product based on your pet’s age and weight.
· Roundworms and Hookworms: Roundworms are extremely common in dogs because mothers often pass it on to their puppies unknowingly. Puppies should be tested starting at two weeks of age and every two weeks thereafter until the age of two months. Hookworms live inside a dog or cat's intestinal system. They attach to its lining and feed off your pet's blood. Since hookworm larvae live in soil, it's easy for your dog to accidentally ingest them. Luckily, the same year-round heartworm prevention that we recommend will also eliminate both roundworms and hookworms!
· Whipworms: Whipworm infestation typically occurs when a pet swallows dirt or feces from other animals containing the parasite. In addition to preventive medication, you can control the spread of whipworm by promptly cleaning animal waste from your yard. A severe whipworm infestation can result in bloody diarrhea. Fortunately, whipworms are prevented by the same heartworm medication that prevents heartworm, roundworms and hookworms. Another reason to keep your pet on this preventative all year round!
Your Partner in Pet Health Care
Vaccinations, infectious disease control, and flea and tick prevention are just some of the services we offer at Cedar Pet Clinicwe offer at Cedar Pet Clinic. Please visit us soon so we can help your pet enjoy a happy and parasite-free summer.
Photo credit: indigo-stock | iStock