Prepare for the Perils of Spring

Submitted by Veterinary Wellness Partners on Thu, 08/22/2013 - 2:05pm

With the warmth comes fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and parasites. Each group presents a particular health risk to our canine and feline companions.


Fleas can present a variety of problems. They serve as an intermediate host in the life cycle of tapeworms (look like grains of rice near your pet's rectum). Flea prevention typically results in tapeworm prevention.

Your pet may also be allergic to the saliva of fleas, which can cause severe pruritus (itching). This reaction can result in hair loss and a severe skin rash/infection. Not all flea prevention products are created equal. There is much skepticism around many of the over-the-counter flea products. Consult one of our veterinarians to determine what flea product is best for your pet.


Ticks are capable of transmitting diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Lyme Disease just to name a few. Repelling ticks is particularly important for dogs involved in hunting or those that spend time near wooded areas or tall grasses. Tick control is usually achieved by using flea control products.

Internal Parasites

Roundworms, hookworm, and whipworms are the most common internal parasites in our pets. Puppies and kittens are especially susceptible to these parasites, but dogs and cats of all ages can become infected. Our veterinarians typically deworm puppies and kittens several times during their series of initial vaccinations.

To keep your pets parasite free, we recommend monthly deworming in the form of heartworm prevention (Revolution, Interceptor, Heartgard). It is also important to perform a yearly fecal flotation test to ensure no parasites are present.

Mosquitoes and Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease that is spread to dogs and cats by mosquitoes. When mosquitoes feed on dogs and cats, their saliva spreads the larval stages of heartworms into the animal's tissues. Our heartworm prevention products (Revolution, Interceptor, Heartgard) kill these larval stages so they are not able to grow into adult worms that invade the heart and lungs. Even though mosquitoes are only present seasonally, we recommend year-round heartworm prevention because these products also prevent infection with common intestinal parasites.

Our feature flea product for dogs, Vectra 3-D, has the benefit of being a mosquito repellent in addition to flea and tick repellency for up to 30 days.