Veterinarian Recommendations for Heartworm and Flea Prevention

August 2, 2019 1:42 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Heartworms and fleas can affect pets all year round. They do not merely disappear with cold temperatures. Fleas can bundle up in your home like any other animal, and heartworms are a threat no matter the temperature. This is why your veterinarian in Bolivar, MO recommends year-long heartworm and flea treatment. Here are six things to know as you work to prevent heartworm and fleas throughout the year:

  • Infection is not seasonal: Heartworms are contracted from infected mosquitoes. Since they are associated with summer, many pet owners do not believe treatment is necessary in the winter. However, mosquitoes do not check a calendar before becoming a nuisance. Unseasonably warm weather can keep them alive and ready to bite. Also, you never know when mosquitoes will make their first appearance. That is why maintaining treatment throughout the year is safer for full prevention.
  • No state is immune: Fleas and heartworms are a problem in all 50 states. That shows that cold temperatures are not an advantage and your animals are at risk no matter where you live. Never assume, just because your climate is consistently cold or you maintain insect control practices, that your pets are safe from heartworms and fleas.
  • Stopping treatment is dangerous: If you stop prevention and then restart it, you could place your pet’s life in danger if they became infected during the lapse. You must have your vet test for heartworms before you start treatment. This makes it easier to maintain treatment all year round. Also, fleas can become resistant to treatment if you stop treatment. It is easier to maintain one effective treatment than to keep upgrading it because it stops working or your pet develops an infection during the treatment break.
  • Heartworm is deadly: Heartworm is deadly for dogs, cats and ferrets. Even if caught early enough to be treated, it is often very hard on animals and causes other adverse impacts. Fleas are not usually deadly, but if your animals are allergic to them, reactions can become deadly or leave them vulnerable to infection. Fleas also carry tapeworms, which can be devastating to animals in fragile health.
  • Indoor animals are not spared: People who keep their cats strictly indoors often compromise on many treatments, including vaccinations and parasite control. However, mosquitoes can invade your home. That is a substantial risk considering there is no approved treatment for killing adult heartworms in cats. Prevention is best, and you have the option of topical and oral prevention medications for your indoor cats.
  • Prevention is only available by prescription: There are no over-the-counter heartworm medications, meaning every time you stop and restart the treatment, you have to return to the vet. Flea medication is available over the counter, but pets with severe flea reactions often need a prescription-strength treatment to control fleas and the reactions to them. Year-round treatment saves time by reducing vet visits. You just need to keep up with the treatment and purchase more when you run out.

Animal Care Clinic of Bolivar is here to recommend year-round treatments to prevent fleas and heartworms. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian in Bolivar, MO.

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