Unfortunately, your cat or dog may become a home for nasty parasites like fleas and hookworms. Simple organisms such as insects, worms, and arachnids need a warm, secure location to live and reproduce, and that location may be your pet or even you. Our veterinarians and staff at Chisholm Trail Veterinary Clinic care about you and your pet’s health, so we recommend year-round parasite control for fleas, ticks, heartworms, mites and lice, and intestinal parasites.
Fleas are not only distressing for your pet, but also can cause allergic reactions that can lead to skin infections. Smaller animals that have fleas can develop anemia. Fleas are very prolific, laying approximately 2,000 eggs per month in places such as your carpet, bedding, and backyard. Maggots hatch from flea eggs and grow into biting, blood-sucking adults. The most effective method of eliminating fleas is to kill them at the egg stage, making the population easier to control and limiting the possibility of a flea infestation in your home or yard. Our veterinarians recommend products that do precisely that. More information about ridding you and your pet of fleas is available at Novartis’ Pet Wellness.
Ticks attach themselves to you, your pet, or your livestock to feed and reproduce and are extremely unpleasant. The female tick feeds until satiated, drops off her host, and then lays thousands of eggs in the nearby environment. The brown dog tick’s favorite environment is your home, making it difficult to control. Additionally, bacteria and other organisms use ticks to carry disease and infect larger hosts. These diseases include Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and can be spread to both animals and people. Ticks also transmit deadly diseases to livestock such as Texas cattle fever.
Mosquitoes transmit heartworms through their bites, but thankfully this disease is easily preventable by using the correct products each month. Our veterinarians and staff recommend combining monthly heartworm prevention with intestinal parasite control and environmental flea control. In our area of Texas, heartworm disease is so devastating that unprotected dogs and cats have more than a 90% chance of contracting heartworms. While heartworms can be treated in dogs, this treatment is costly and there are risks involved. Cats can contract the infection at the same rate as dogs, but this disease is fatal for cats. Sadly, our veterinarians and staff see numerous dogs and cats die of heartworm disease so be sure to have your pet treated! You can also refer to the American Heartworm Society for more information and statistics about this devastating disease.
These smaller external parasites are very difficult to see without magnification. If your pet is constantly itching and chewing to the point of self-mutilation, this could be a sign that he or she has mites or lice. Mites live in your animal’s ears and mange causes severe skin disease. Lice are more commonly found on cattle and other livestock, though periodically our veterinarians do find them on cats and dogs.
Puppies and kittens often have intestinal parasites, which can be devastating if not treated. But intestinal parasites are not limited to young pets; adult dogs and cats can become infected as well. As part of your animal’s wellness examination, Chisholm Trail Veterinary Clinic veterinarians examine your pet’s stool many times when your pet is young and then yearly when he or she is an adult. We then control most intestinal parasites by recommending monthly preventives. If you’d like more information, the Companion Animal Parasite Council or the veterinarians at Chisholm Trail Veterinary Clinic are terrific resources.
Visit Pet Wellness or give Chisholm Trail Veterinary Clinic a call if you’d like additional information about pets and parasites. Our number one priority is to control parasites and ensure your safety and the safety of your pet through preventive products and proper care.