Betty Baugh’s Animal Clinic wants you to know that here in Richmond, Virginia - flea, tick, heartworm and other parasite control is a year-round necessity. Prevention is a vital for keeping your pets safe and comfortable. Parasites are not just a nuisance - some may cause serious illness in pets AND humans and some parasites cause diseases that can be fatal.
Which Parasites Affect Pets?
Parasites that may affect your dog or cat include:
Heartworms - Parasites that live in your pet’s heart and lungs and can be fatal if untreated
External Parasites - Fleas, ticks and mite
Intestinal parasites – Hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms being the most prevalent
Heartworm Prevention for Dogs & Cats
Heartworms are a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. 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?
One infected mosquito is all it takes to infect your pet with the larval form of the heartworm parasite. Mosquitos then transmit the disease from one animal to the next. They 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 preventable! Prevention is the safest and most cost-effective approach, but treatment is available for dogs, although costly and lengthy. Dogs should be tested annually, where cats should be tested before starting prevention and re-tested as the veterinarian deems appropriate. There is NO treatment for cats.
Betty Baugh’s Animal Clinic has safe, effective products that cater to 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
You may not always be able to tell if your pet has parasites. Fleas can hide under your pet’s fur, and some ticks can be the size of a pinhead. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms, can cause diarrhea, but many infected pets don’t show any signs of illness at all.
Ticks (which are common in Virginia) can transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella, a bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans.
With a preventative care exam, we will fit your pet with the appropriate medications to help control fleas, ticks and other parasites. Parasites are both a nuisance and a danger to you and your pet, but being aware and proactive in their prevention can be the key to a healthy lifestyle for your pet. Let us help you. Call today to find out how!