Parasites are everywhere in the Jersey Shore. From fleas and ticks to roundworms and tapeworms, parasites of every variety pose a serious health threat to dogs and cats, as well as to pet owners. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least 14% of Americans have shown evidence of being infected with an intestinal parasite such as a roundworm. Parasite prevention isn’t just about protecting your pets. It’s also about protecting you and your family. City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital provides parasite prevention and removal services in Asbury Park, NJ. Protecting your cat or dog from fleas and ticks is easier with our help. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment!
Comprehensive veterinary health care at City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital begins with parasite prevention. All pets are susceptible to internal and external parasites. Parasites can even be transmitted from a mother to a baby through their placenta or milk. Therefore, it’s vital that you bring a new puppy or kitten to our practice right away to avoid parasite exposure to other pets or small children in the household. External parasites, such as fleas and ticks, are usually easier for pet owners to recognize. If you’ve noticed your pet scratching more than usual or hair loss, it’s best to bring them in to see if they have an issue with fleas and ticks sooner rather than later. Internal parasites, such as tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ringworms, and heartworms, can be a little more difficult to diagnose. Symptoms your pet could have an internal parasite include vomiting, diarrhea, and sudden weight loss. When you bring your pet in for their annual wellness visit, we’ll examine a stool sample to look for evidence of intestinal parasites. We may also do some blood work to check for heartworm disease. Annual parasite screening is included in your pet’s checkups because it helps save lives.
The Jersey Shore has some of the most abundant, disease-laden fleas and ticks in the country! Researchers from around the world come here to collect ticks to study the diseases they spread. It is so important to protect our pets from these little bugs. Beyond what you can spray on your lawn, prevention with a monthly flea and tick prevention medication (along with Lyme vaccination) is key! Lyme disease prevalence was almost 14% in 2012, today it’s closer to 9%! That’s not because the ticks are leaving or dying, it’s because we are doing a better job at preventing them from biting and infecting our pets.
Other ectoparasites include types of mange, many of which can be transmitted to people!
We use the safest and easiest medications to give to your pets and tailor it to your pet’s lifestyle. Ask your veterinarian which is best for your pet! To learn more about fleas, ticks and other parasites check out our pet health library!
Intestinal parasites are very common, so common that many kittens and puppies born healthy acquire larval stage parasites from their moms through the placenta and/or the milk before even touching the ground or being around other pets. Intestinal parasites can cause a slew of issues in cats and dogs – from unthriftiness and weight loss to severe gastrointestinal disease, anemia, and in serious cases even death. Fortunately, routine deworming and monthly heartworm preventives often take care of many immature infestations before they ever become a problem.
Heartworms are starting to become bigger problems. Where Dr. Tom went to school, in rural Alabama, it’s hard to find a dog that isn’t positive for heartworm disease. Up here, the risk is increasing. Warmer spring and summer months, wetter conditions, more mosquitos, more heartworm cases. Just treating in the spring/summer? BIG MISTAKE! It takes 6 months for immature heartworms (called microfilaria) to become adults that set up a cozy living space in the right atrium and pulmonary artery of the heart. This means if your pet is bitten the day after the last dose given in the fall, 2-3 months of no treatment and those babies are going to become adults – even if you start treating again! IT’S NOT WORTH IT!
Besides Heartworm disease being life threatening, it’s also expensive and requires several months of cage-rest and exercise restriction. It just makes sense to treat your pet ALL YEAR. Testing is done yearly and if your pet comes up positive many of the pharmaceutical companies will pay for treatment if we can show them the pet has been on monthly prevention. Ask us about options for this very preventable infection! To learn more about intestinal parasites and heartworm disease, see our pet health library!
You may be wondering how important parasite prevention is if you’ve never noticed any unusual behavior or symptoms in your pet. The reality is many times your pet may not indicate symptoms, but having parasites puts your pet more at risk for developing infections and diseases caused by parasites. Fleas can cause skin irritations and even anemia in puppies and kittens, while ticks can spread Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis. If left untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal for your pet. The heartworm population in the Jersey Shore has been on the rise in recent years, thanks to warmer spring and summer months, wetter conditions, and more widespread mosquito populations. However, you can largely prevent heartworms from becoming a problem by deworming your pet and ensuring they’re given monthly heartworm preventives to keep these endoparasites at bay.
At City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital, our staff uses the safest parasite prevention medications available. We always tailor treatment to suit your pet’s lifestyle. By investing in a monthly flea and tick or heartworm prevention medication and vaccinations, you can ensure a happier, healthier pet from head to tail. Heartworm testing is done yearly as part of our parasite prevention program. If your pet ever comes up positive and we can prove your pet has been taking the monthly prevention medications as recommended, many of the pharmaceutical companies will pay for parasite removal and treatment.
Pet health is a topic we take seriously. Do you have any questions or concerns about protecting your cat or dog from fleas or ticks in Asbury Park, NJ? Please contact our friendly staff at City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital to schedule an appointment for your furry family members today!