Parasites come in many different forms and can be very harmful to not only the pet, but also the owners as well.
Parasite Control Products
Our doctors recommend every animal be on monthly broad spectrum parasiticide in order to reduce the risk of parasites (heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms) in our animals and to decrease the chance of humans getting roundworms or hookworms. Our doctors recommend that dogs be on Sentinel or Proheart year round. Our doctors also recommend Vectra 3D seasonally (April-November) for dogs that are exposed to ticks and other external parasites. Vectra 3D kills and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies, lice and mites.
Not only is it expensive to treat for heartworm disease, but it can be dangerous for your pet. It is much easier and cheaper to prevent heartworm disease by administrating a monthly heartworm preventative.
We recommend yearly use of heartworm preventative, because not only does it prevent heartworm disease, but it also controls intestinal parasites. Every month you are essentially deworming your dog. By skipping a month (or several months if you are only treating seasonally) the parasites are being exposed to low doses of the product, which can lead to product resistance.
The manufacturer of the Sentinel and Proheart stand by their product (only if it is used year round) and if your pet tests positive for heartworm or for an internal parasites that Sentinel cover, the manufacturer will pay for the treatment.
Our doctors recommend that cats be on Revolution for heartworm, flea and internal parasite protection or Vectra for flea protection.
Yearly Blood Borne and Internal Parasite Tests
Even with year round monthly heartworm protection, a yearly test for heartworm disease and internal parasites is still required. There is always the possibility of heartworm resistance to the prevention and your pet should be monitored for infection. Furthermore if your dog misses a dose of heartworm prevention or does not absorb the heartworm prevention (vomits, diarrhea or other causes of reduced absorption) the microfilaria (baby worms) that are transmitted by mosquitoes can grow up to adult worms. If the microfilaria get the chance to grow up to adult worms, the adult worms will not be treated with routine heartworm prevention. Furthermore if the adult worms start producing more microfilaria, a single dose of heartworm medication can kill the microfilaria sending massive emboli to organs which can result in anaphylactic shock or sudden death.
These adult worms would be detected on the heartworm test that your dog gets every year. Our heartworm tests not only tests for the presence of the female heartworm, but also tests for Lyme, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma, which are diseases carried by ticks. Testing for internal parasites is done by providing fecal sample.