The Importance of Heartworm and Flea Prevention

51zx3rqicul Winter is almost over and mosquito season will be here before you know it. And heart worm prevention is key to making sure our pets are healthy

  • Why is it so important?

Mosquitoes, ticks and fleas are pests. There’s no doubt about that. But even more than being a nuisance of itchy red bites, they carry real health risks.

Mosquitoes are the carriers of heartworms. It only takes one infected mosquito to give your dog or cat heartworm disease. While most pets show no symptoms in the early stages, if left untreated, heartworm disease causes heart failure in dogs and lung damage in cats.

Fleas & Ticks are also transmitters of a host of deadly diseases. Fleas transmit very scary illnesses such as the plague, typhus, and parasitic worms, just to name a few. Ticks can cause Lyme Disease, anemia, and paralysis. All of these are very serious.

  • Methods of prevention:

It is far easier to prevent these conditions than to treat them. That is, if you can treat them. There are heartworm treatments for dogs, but is expensive and can have serious side effects. There is no treatment available for feline heartworm disease, so prevention for both species is key. Most commonly you will find oral and topical medications.

Flea, Tick and Heartworm Preventatives  (Source
CapstarNitenpyramOral as neededYesNoNo
AdvantageImidaclopridTopical monthlyYesNoNo
K9 AdvantixImidacloprid/PermethrinTopical monthlyYesYesNo
Frontline PlusFipronil/MethopreneTopical monthlyYesYesNo
RevolutionSelamectinTopical monthlyYesYesYes
SentinelLufenuron/Melbemycin/OximeOral MonthlyYesNoYes

Bathing and grooming also play an important part of keeping heartworms, fleas and ticks at bay. Also, frequently vacuuming your pet’s beds as well as areas they play and lounge in helps to prevent these pests.        

As always, talk to your vet for advice regarding heartworm and flea prevention. All of our pets have different needs and daily lives. Depending on their age, activity level and environment, your vet will help you determine which type of prevention is best for you.

What type of prevention do you use on your pets? Let us know in the comments!



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