Southside Animal Hospital wants you to know that here in Nashville - flea, tick, heartworm & other worm control and prevention is a year-round problem and necessity for keeping your pets safe and comfortable. Parasites are not just a nuisance to you and your pets - parasites may cause serious illness in your pets and even your family. Some pet parasites like heartworms even cause death. Parasites that can affect your dog or cat include:
It takes one bite from an infected mosquito to break your pet's heart! One infected mosquito is all it takes to infect your dog with the baby form (larval stage) of the heartworm parasite.
Heartworms are a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. Twelve inch long worms (look similar to spaghetti) live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of infected pets, causing lung disease, heart failure, organ damage and can be fatal if untreated.
How does my pet get heartworms? Heartworms living in an infected dog, cat or wildlife produce baby worms that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up these worms and when it bites another animal, the worms enter through the bite wound. Heartworms can grow and live for 5 - 7 years in dogs and 3 years in cats.
How prevalent is heartworm disease? Heartworm disease is a year-round problem. In Tennessee, 1 in 26 dogs tested positive for heartworms.
What can I do to protect my pet? Heartworm disease is preventable! Dogs should be tested annually and before starting prevention. Provide heartworm prevention 12 months of the year. Prevention is the safest and most cost-effective option, but treatment is available for dogs (although costly and lengthy). Cats should be tested before starting prevention and re-tested as the veterinarian deems appropriate. There is NO treatment in cats, so prevention is critical and the only means of protection.
Southside Animal Hospital has safe, effective products available that cater to you and your pet's lifestyle and budget. Heartworm prevention should be provided 12 months of the year - we have an option for an injection every six months to help you with not having to remember to administer monthly.
Ticks can transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella – the bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, are even transmissible to humans. Preventing parasites in your pets also helps protect children and other family members, so let’s work together to protect your pets and family.
You may not always be able to tell if your pet has parasites. Fleas can hide under your pet’s fur, and some ticks are very tiny (only the size of a pinhead), so they are very difficult to find. Intestinal parasites like roundworms can cause diarrhea and other problems, but many infected pets don’t show any signs of illness at all.
We will examine your pet for evidence of fleas, ticks or other parasites during their preventative care exam and may recommend testing to see if your pet has parasites. We have the right medications to help control fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites in our pharmacy and online store.
Parasites are not just a nuisance. They can carry serious diseases that affect your pet’s overall health and longevity. Let us help you protect your pet. Call today to find out how!