1111 W Spruce St, Mitchell, SD   605-990-3388

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Parasite Prevention

Positive Heartworm test

Flea and tick control is an important aspect of pet ownership. Both fleas and ticks can transmit diseases to your pet, some of which can be fatal. Prevention of ectoparasites is much simpler then treating the problem. We believe owner education regarding ectoparasites is a vital part of pet ownership.


The flea cycle includes:

1.  Adult flea takes several blood meals daily.


2.  Eggs are laid on pet; eggs fall off pet and hatch in environment. The eggs will hatch in 2-5 days. A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day!


3.  The larva has 3 different stages until they begin pupa stage.


4.  The pupa is in a silk cocoon with debris collected on outside. Fleas emerge in 1-2 weeks but can have delayed emergence for up to 4 months.

If you find fleas in your home or on your pet, it is important to treat the problem as quickly as possible. Fleas can cause several different diseases in your pet. They include:

  • Cat Scratch Disease- Fleas can transmit this disease cat to cat. It can be transmitted to humans through cat scratches.

  • Tapeworms- Can be transmitted to your pet if they eat a flea carrying tapeworm eggs.

  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis-Can lead to severe itching and hot spots.

  • Haemobartonellosis- A disease that affects red blood cells. It can cause anemia in cats and loss of appetite in dogs 


We have different tips if you have a flea infestation in your home. They include:

1.  The best treatment is prevention. We offer a few different choices for flea and tick preventatives. If you have any questions regarding any of these products, don’t hesitate to ask!


2.  We recommend using a flea preventative until temperatures stay below 45 degrees. A common flea myth is fleas won’t come into contact with your pet if they’re only outside to use the bathroom. Fleas are quick creatures and will hop onto anything warm if it’s getting cold outside, including yourself. While fleas don’t like a human host, we can become carriers and bring them inside where they can encounter your pet.


3.  If a flea infestation occurs, we recommend using a bug bomb spray for your household. Vacuum all carpets and rugs daily, making sure to get under furniture as fleas prefer a dark environment to burrow. Wash all bedding that your pet has used. Treat ALL animals in the household. Yard sprays are available to treat the outside environment.

 

Ticks are most prominent in the spring and summer seasons. Although they are small, there are several diseases that can be caused by a tick bite. They include:

  • Lyme disease- It is a tick-borne disease that transmits bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi.

  • Anaplasmosis- It is a tick-borne disease that transmits bacteria called Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

  • Babesiosis- It is a protozoal parasite from the Babesia family.

  • Ehrlichiosis- It is a rickettsia infection caused by the organisms Ehrlichia canis and Ehrlichia lewinii.           

  • Mycoplasmosis- It is caused by an anaerobic bacterial microorganism.


We have different tips for pet owners during tick season. They include:

Use a tick preventative to help keep ticks off your pets during tick season.
After any time spent outside, check your pets carefully for ticks. Make sure to check inside ears and between toes.

We have different products available to curb flea and tick infestations for both dogs and cats. There are regular promotions and coupons available upon purchase.

A regular deworming schedule is another vital part of pet ownership. Intestinal parasites can cause weight loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite. There are 4 types of intestinal parasites. They include:

  1. Roundworms

  2. Tapeworms

  3. Hookworms

  4. Whipworms


We recommend deworming every 6 months. The exception to this recommendation is using a monthly heartworm preventative that also deworms. We offer Interceptor as a parasite prevention for dogs that protects against heartworms and all 4 groups of intestinal parasites. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Heartworm disease is a serious but preventable condition. The heartworm parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes. The life cycle includes:

1.  A mosquito bites an infected dog, taking in heartworm microfilariae as it feeds.
2.  The microfilariae develop into infective stage larvae within the mosquito.
3.  The mosquito transmits the infective stage larvae to a healthy dog. The larvae migrate through the tissues, eventually reaching the heart.
4.  Heartworm can grow up to 12 inches in length. Left untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal to your dog.

Treatment for heartworm disease is expensive and can be hard on your dog’s health. A monthly preventative is the best tool to protect your dog from this disease. Before starting the preventative, we will collect a small amount of blood and test for heartworm. If negative, the preventative will be prescribed. We offer Interceptor, which protects against heartworm and deworms for all 4 intestinal parasites.


If you are interested in beginning a preventative protocol for your dog, call to schedule an appointment with us today!