Help Your Dog & Cat Live Flea-Free!
There was a time when parasites like fleas, ticks, and roundworms were considered mostly a nuisance. Now, however, we know that parasites can cause serious illness and even death in pets. For example, ticks can transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella, the bacteria that causes cat-scratch fever in humans. Another type of parasite, called a heartworm, is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworms live in your pet’s lungs and heart, causing damage to these organs, and sometimes even death. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, also threaten pets and are even transmissible to humans.
You may not always be able to tell if your pet has parasites. Fleas can hide under your pet’s fur, and some ticks are very tiny (only the size of a pinhead), so they are very difficult to find. Intestinal parasites like roundworms can cause diarrhea and other problems, but many infected pets don’t show any signs of illness at all.
Fortunately, we can recommend tests to tell if your pet has parasites. We can also examine your pet for evidence of fleas, ticks, or other parasites. Our expert staff can recommend medications to help control fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites. Preventing parasites in your pets also helps protect children and other family members, so let’s work together to protect your pets and family.
Protect Your Pets From Disease Carrying Parasites
So, what is the big deal about fleas and ticks? In addition to being a nuisance, fleas and ticks have the potential of infecting your dog or cat with serious, life-threatening diseases
When a flea bites, it injects a small amount of saliva into the skin. That saliva sets off an allergic reaction in many animals and even in humans that causes intense itching. This constant scratching can develop into painful skin irritations and infections. Fleas can also transmit some infections and diseases, such as tapeworm and cat scratch fever, to both pets and people.
Ticks have small biting mouthparts that often do not cause irritation when they attach, which allows them to slowly fill with blood without interference. Before feeding, ticks are quite small and can often be overlooked on your pet. Once the tick attaches to its host, it feeds on the host’s blood, becoming bloated and engorged with blood.
Ticks are commonly hosts to several types of diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis (bacterial infections), and babesiosis (a blood disorder). Indoor cats can also be at risk of tick bites especially if they come in contact with other untreated animals.
Heartworm disease is a life-threatening illness that is spread through the bite of a mosquito. Once an animal is infected, worms begin to live and reproduce in the blood of the dog or cat’s heart and adjacent blood vessels. Over time, these worms begin to clog the heart and major blood vessels. They may also interfere with the valve action of the heart, causing impaired lung function, heart weakness, and, if left untreated, congestive heart failure and death.
Once infected, treatment is available; however, it is risky and expensive. The medicine used to treat heartworm disease can be potentially toxic to your pet and may result in serious complications such as blood clots in the lungs.
Preventative Care Services In St. Petersburg, FL
Scheduling an appointment to develop a preventive care regimen for your dog is as easy as picking up the phone, or filling out the contact form on our website. Our staff is here to help make your trip to the vet as easy as possible for you, and enjoyable for your canine companion!
Explore Our Complete List of Veterinary Services in Saint Petersburg, Florida
- Dog Wellness Exams
- Heartworm Prevention
- Pet Pregnancy Planning
- Laser Therapy
- Pet Behavior
- Puppy Care
- Cat Wellness Exams
- Pet Nutrition
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Anesthesia & Patient Monitoring
- Kitten Care
- Spay & Neuter
- Wellness Exams
- Dental Care
- In-House Laboratory
- Senior Wellness