At Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic, we understand that here in Kerrville, Texas, flea, tick, heartworm and other parasite control is a year-round effort. Preventing these nuisances is essential for keeping your pets safe and healthy. Parasites are not just a nuisance: some may cause serious illnesses in pets AND humans. Parasites can even be fatal for them. Having your pet free of parasites is one of the most significant things you can do to keep you both healthy and happy.
How Parasites Affect Animals
Parasites that may affect your dog or cat include:
External Parasites (fleas, ticks, and mites) - fleas do not typically cause widespread damage but are a problem for both pets and owners. Ticks are known as carriers of Lyme Disease, and pets that spend time outdoors should be checked often; mites can cause infections in the ear from the pet’s scratching, while mange mites may cause scabies or mange and when left untreated, they may jeopardize your pet’s immune system; mites can easily transfer between animals, so prevention and treatment is important.
Heartworms - heartworms live in the heart, lungs and the surrounding tissues. If left untreated, heartworms can directly affect the lifespan of your pet.
Intestinal Parasites - hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and whipworms are the most common types of Intestinal parasites; if they are left untreated, these parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and weight loss. Intestinal parasites can also be transferred to humans through their feces.
Heartworm Prevention for Dogs & Cats
Heartworms are a dangerous and likely fatal disease in pets. These twelve-inch long worms can live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of infected pets, causing lung disease, heart failure, organ damage, and fatality.
Common Questions Regarding Heartworm
How does my pet get heartworm?
All it takes to infect your pet is one affected mosquito with the larval form of the heartworm parasite. Mosquitos then transmit the disease from one animal to another. The heartworms live in the animal, producing baby worms that circulate in the bloodstream. Heartworms can grow and live for 5-7 years in dogs and 3 years in cats.
What can I do to protect my pet?
Heartworm disease is actually preventable! Prevention is the safest and most cost-effective approach, but treatment is available for dogs, although it can be costly and lengthy. Dogs should have testing yearly, where cats should be tested before they start prevention and get re-tested when veterinarian considers the right time. There is NO treatment for cats.
Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic has safe and effective products that work with you and your pet's lifestyle and budget. Heartworm prevention is provided 12 months of the year with varying options on treatment intervals and dosages.
Fleas, Ticks & Intestinal Parasites
If your pet has parasites, you may not always be able to tell as many are difficult to detect. Fleas can hide in your pet’s fur, and some ticks can be really hard to find. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms, can cause diarrhea, but several infected pets don’t show any signs of illness. Ticks can transfer Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella, a bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans.
With a preventative care exam for your pet, we will match the appropriate medications to help control fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Parasites are both an annoyance and a danger to you and your pet, but being proactive in their prevention can be the solution to a healthy lifestyle for your pet. Let us help you. Call us today at Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic in Kerrville, Texas for pet parasite prevention and control.