We know you won't believe us with the current weather we've been having lately, but Spring is quickly approaching and it's time to start your internal parasite control and flea and tick preventive now!
Your dog should be receiving year-round monthly heartworm preventive. Mosquitoes CAN live indoors in the winter. So don't think for a moment that in the middle of January you won't find one of these pesky, buzzing creatures buzzing around your basement. While the risk definitely decreases during the winter your pets are still at risk for heartworm year round.
And don't forget about the intestinal parasites! Heartworm preventive not only prevents heartworm disease, it also prevents intestinal parasites. This protects you and your family as well as your pet. Roundworms and hookworms are transmissible to humans, especially children.
Now is also the time to make sure your pet is protected against fleas and ticks. If you wait until you see fleas and ticks to prevent them, it's too late. By then, you've got an infestation in your yard or house, or both.
Key points to remember:
- Heartworm preventive year round - this means once a month for 12 months out of the year.
- If your pet has been off heartworm preventive, be sure to have your pet tested prior to starting.
- If you have a puppy and they received their first free dose with us, be sure to weigh them regularly as they grow to assure correct dosing. (Usually by their 3rd vaccine appointment, we can dispense the remaining doses, but this doesn't always hold true for the larger breeds).
- Heartworm test ANNUALLY - We use a test called the 4DX. It's called this because it not only tests for the presence of heartworm disease, it also tests for Lyme, ehrlichia and anaplasmosis. Heartworm is transmitted by the mosquito. Lyme, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are all transmitted by the tick. We diagnose at least one of these diseases each week!
- Start flea and tick preventive BEFORE spring to assure you don't end up with an infestation once spring arrives. If you wait to see fleas or ticks, it's too late.
- Give/apply flea and tick preventive March-1st hard freeze (usually end of November).
- All medications expire which will render them ineffective. So if you have old unused heartworm or flea & tick preventive in your cupboard, please check the expiration date before using!
Following these tips and recommendations will help to ensure that your pet and your family are fully protected all year round. Contact us for more information, to schedule your pet's next appointment, and for your parasite control refills!