Year-Round Pet Parasite Protection
It may seem as though pest prevention is unnecessary during the colder months. Surely fleas, ticks, and heartworms (transferred by mosquitoes) take a break due to the cold! You may be surprised to know that any temperature above freezing, which can occur all year round, is warm enough for these pests to be active. That’s why flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives are so important the whole year round.
Flea/Tick and Heartworm Preventatives
Fleas and ticks are prevented by the same preventatives, while heartworm medications typically protect against heartworms and other internal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms. Learn more about each parasite below and why prevention is so important!
At our clinic, we actually see the majority of all flea cases in the late fall, after many owners stop using preventatives, thinking that the flea season is over. The biggest issue with fleas is that they are not just a problem for your pet. A flea outbreak is very difficult to contain as eggs and larvae can stay in your carpet, bedding, and household for many months without a meal. An infestation can take up to 6 months to be eliminated. Eradication is a tricky thing, but prevention is easy!
While mosquitoes (the carriers of these parasites) do die off in the winter, their break is short lived. Particularly with the recent climate changes, winters are not as harsh as they used to be, so it is impossible to know when the first mosquito will hatch and begin to spread disease. Heartworms are spread through the bloodstream and take up residence in your pet’s blood vessels in the heart and lungs. Sometimes symptoms are subtle or nonexistent until it’s too late. Treatment is difficult and expensive. Heartworm preventatives also protect against other internal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and more.
Unfortunately, ticks are active all year round. They do not hibernate or die off during the frigid central Wisconsin winters; they survive on rabbits and mice and from there are able to attach to our pets. Tick-borne illnesses are the biggest concern for your pet. Deer ticks can carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis, which are all serious illnesses. While the Lyme vaccine can protect against its namesake disease, it does not cover the others, so prevention is essential.
While enjoying everything Wisconsin’s great outdoors has to offer, keep these tips in mind:
- Always check yourself and your pet for ticks after being outside
- When taking walks, keep to the cleared pathways and avoid letting your pet wander into the brush
- Keep the bushes and shrubs growing around your home well-trimmed
- Be sure to clear away leaf litter, overgrown grass, and brush to make your pet’s environment less tick-friendly
- Avoid feeding deer and if possible, build a fence to keep them out
For more information about ticks, go to tickcounter.org.
Products we offer are varied enough to suit every pet and their family.
The following cover flea and tick prevention:
- Frontline Plus
- Scalibor Collar
- Seresto Collar
The following cover heartworm and some intestinal parasite prevention:
- Heartgard Plus
- Iverhart Max
- Sentinel Spectrum