From fleas to roundworms, your pet can harbor a number of nasty parasites. Mother Nature relies on relationships between hosts and parasites to carry on the species of simple organisms like insects, worms, and arachnids. Hosts, like your dog or cat. or even yourself, provide a warm, safe place for parasites to complete their life cycles and reproduce. At Chisholm Trail Veterinary Clinic, our veterinarians and staff are not only concerned about your pet’s health but your health as well.
Our veterinarians recommend year-round parasite control for fleas, ticks, mites and lice, heartworms, and intestinal parasites.
Fleas are a nuisance for your pet, not only causing stress but also causing diseases like anemia in smaller animals and allergic reactions that can lead to skin infections. Fleas are prolific. A female flea can lay about 1400 eggs in one month into the environment, which might comprise your backyard, carpet, and bedding. Those eggs eventually turn into biting, blood sucking adults. Our veterinarians recommend flea products for both dogs and cats that stop the flea life cycle at the egg stage making flea populations easier to control and limiting the possibility of an infestation in your house or yard. More information about fleas is available at Novartis’ Pet Wellness.
Ticks are extremely unpleasant to deal with whether they are attached to your pet, livestock, or you. Ticks attach themselves to a host to feed and reproduce. Once the female has finished feeding, she drops off her host and lays thousands of eggs in the environment. The brown dog tick is notorious for infesting homes and being difficult to control. Ticks are a vector of disease; other organisms, such as bacteria, use them to infect larger hosts. For example, certain species of ticks transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to animals and people. Ticks also spread deadly diseases among livestock, such as Texas cattle fever. We can prescribe a monthly medication to keep ticks at bay and protect you and your pets.
Mites and lice are smaller external parasites that are difficult to see without magnification. They cause itching and self-mutilation if not treated. Mites can cause the skin disease mange and can inhabit ears. Lice are not as common in dogs and cats, but our veterinarians do see them on occasion. Lice are more common on livestock such as cattle. The monthly anti-parasitic medications we recommend, help eliminate and prevent mites and lice.
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites. Heartworm disease is very simple to prevent by using the correct monthly products. Our veterinarians recommend products that combine monthly heartworm prevention with intestinal parasite control and even environmental flea control. Heartworm disease is devastating and, in our area of Texas, dogs that are not protected have more than 90% chance of contracting heartworms. Heartworms can be treated in dogs; however, there are risks involved and the treatment is costly. Cats are not as likely to contract the infection as dogs are, but heartworm disease can be fatal in cats. Sadly, our veterinarians and staff see numerous Caldwell County dogs and cats that die of heartworm disease. Please refer to the American Heartworm Society for more information and statistics about heart worm disease and follow theirs and our recommendation for monthly prevention.
Intestinal parasites are a common problem in puppies and kittens and can be devastating if not treated. Adult dogs and cats can become infected as well. Chisholm Trail Veterinary Clinic’s veterinarians check several samples of your pet’s stool while your pet is young and then yearly at their adult annual visits. Most intestinal parasites can be easily controlled by using monthly preventives. If you’d like more information, the Companion Animal Parasite Council is a great resource.
For more information about pets and parasites, call 512-620-0111 to speak to an expert at Chisholm Trail Veterinary Clinic. Our goal is to ensure that both you and your pet are safe by providing the proper care and preventive products to keep parasites under control.