Flea, Tick and
Flea Prevention And Control
Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. And fleas don’t just stay on pets – they can bite people, too.
The last thing you want is to have these blood-sucking parasites on your pet and in your home.
With a simple mosquito bite, a heartworm infection can be transmitted to your pet. Those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat’s health. These parasites can severely damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Sometimes this is fatal. Some pets may not show any signs of infection as symptoms can vary widely.
In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen caused by fluid accumulation. Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome”, a form of liver failure. Without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.
Although often thought to not be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can indeed get heartworms. Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD). The symptoms can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting are common. Other symptoms include coughing, vomiting, and loss of appetite or weight. Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.
Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention—and it can prove fatal for your dog. At this time, there is no approved treatment for cats. Some cats spontaneously rid themselves of the infection, while others might not survive it.
Fortunately, there’s a way to keep your dog or cat safe: by administering monthly heartworm preventives. Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. We can recommend a regimen of prevention for your pet.
Every year, ticks are becoming more prevalent across Canada. They’re now appearing in areas where people and pets didn’t previously encounter them, including green spaces within cities.
These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious – and sometimes deadly – diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis.
Contact our Cabbagetown vet clinic immediately if your pet begins coughing, has trouble breathing, or experiences fever, weakness, loss of appetite, weight, energy, or coordination.
Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog or cat, even if your pet is on a preventive. Some preventives kill ticks after they’ve come in contact with your pet. Ticks can hide under your pet’s fur, so as an added measure of protection, we recommend checking your pet for ticks every time your pet comes in from outside. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing or shoes.