Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos and heartworm disease is therefore very common in Florida. Mosquitos carry the larval stage of heartworms inside of them, and when a mosquito bites your pet, it injects the larva under the skin. Rather than living in your pet's intestinal tract, these worms find their way to the cardiovascular system and live inside the heart. An adult heartworm can be twelve inches long! As you can imagine, heartworms cause significant damage to the heart, disrupt normal blood flow, and can cause life-threatening illness. Clinical signs of heartworm disease include heart murmur, cough, lethargy, and ascites (fluid accumulation inside the abdomen). Ascites is seen with severe heartworm infestations and is due to right-sided heart failure and is associated with a very poor outcome. Giving your pet heartworm prevention once a month not only protects them from heartworms - it can honestly save their life.

Health Hazards Of Fleas And Ticks

Dog scratching

Fleas and ticks carry diseases that can cause serious harm to your pet. The most common problem associated with fleas is flea allergy dermatitis, which causes excessive itching, skin inflammation, infected sores, and hair loss. The second most common problem associated with fleas is tapeworms, which are worms that live in the GI tract. Tapeworms occur when your pet swallows a flea during grooming or biting/chewing due to itch and discomfort.

Ticks transmit numerous diseases such as Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These diseases can cause a variety of clinical signs such as lethargy, joint pain, abnormal bleeding, kidney problems, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. We provide annual testing for many tick-borne diseases so that we can start treatment before your pet becomes sick. 

Types Of Prevention

When it comes to preventing heartworms, fleas, and ticks, there are several different types of medications available, including oral tablets, topical treatments and collars. Our job is to help you decide which method is best for your pet, depending on his or her lifestyle.

  • Flea/Tick Collars – Worn around your pet’s neck to help prevent infestations.
  • Oral Tablets – Typically given once a month to control fleas and ticks, kill intestinal parasites, and prevent heartworm disease. 
  • Topical Treatments – Placed on the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades once a month to kill fleas and ticks and prevent heartworm disease. There are also longer-lasting products that kill fleas and ticks for up to three months.

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