More Ways To Protect Pets From Pests | Veterinarian Fox Chapel

Veterinarian Fox Chapel | More Ways To Protect Pets From Pests

A pound of prevention is worth an ounce of cure, says veterinarian Fox Chapel expert, Dr. Richard Linkenheimer. This is especially true when it comes to the health of your pets. Many people know they should bring their cats and dogs in for their annual check up and get vaccinations. They take a lot of care in choosing the right food, and ensure their pet has exercise and toys, but pet owners should not overlook the importance of actively having to protect pets from pests!

Protect Pets From Pests | Veterinarian Fox Chapel

The reason why so many pet owners do not protect pets from pests, is they just don’t know what they don’t know. Veterinarian Fox Chapel Dr. Linkenheimer says many pet owners think that vaccinations protect their cats and dogs from everything, but there are many pests lurking, waiting for the opportunity to literally make a meal of your furry family members!

While many people have heard of fleas, mites are another pest that can negatively impact your pet’s health and quality of life. Mites are tiny arachnid insects that make their home on many animals, cats and dogs included. These mites become attached to your pet’s skin, they are a parasite, and as such, they consume blood and skin of the animal. This becomes a skin infection known more commonly as mange.

Mange is Caused By Mites

Not only is mange irritating, causing your pet to become so itchy, they scratch almost uncontrollably. This can cause hair loss, and scabbing says veterinarian Fox Chapel. Once you notice your cat or dog has an infection, get them to River Valley Veterinary Hospital right away. Mites can be treated with ingestible medication, shampoos or topical treatments, but like everything else, preventing mites is much easier and better for the animal.

Talk to your veterinarian about various ways to protect pets from pests, and the measures that will work best. However, it’s also important to note that mites prefer a dirty environment, so keeping a clean pet, and house is important! Regular grooming and bathing of your animal will not only make for an inhospitable environment for mites, but you will also be able to see if there are any changes in your animals’ coat that might indicate they have these pests. Regularly wash their beds, sweep and dust the house to keep these insects at bay.

There are also shampoos that naturally protect pets from pests, and if you have apple cider vinegar, pour some into a spray bottle. You can lightly mist the animal, or any bedding you would like to ensure stays free and clear of these tiny, irritating insects. And always, if you have any questions, contact the great and caring staff at River Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Protect Pets From Pests | Prevent Heartworm With Ease

Another pest to be wary of is the heartworm. Worms of all kinds are parasites, living inside the animal, but heartworm is especially nasty. The reason is that heartworm can take up to years to be detected due to symptoms, and by then, the infection is so significant, that the pet is very ill by the time the heartworm is discovered. And with time, heartworm, also known as Dirofilarial is ultimately, and eventually fatal.

Heartworm gets it’s name from the fact that these parasites end up becoming lodged in the animal’s heart, leading to dirofilariasis, a disease that causes coughing, exhaustion, fainting, coughing up blood and extreme weight loss in the animal. And while cats and dogs can become infected with heartworm, it’s most likely the dog to become infected more often, as they have larger hearts, that serve as a more hospitable growing condition.

Pet owners may be wondering how their beloved pet can become infected with heartworm says veterinarian Fox Chapel expert. The culprit is the much reviled mosquito. Mosquitoes are known for being carriers of disease – over 100 diseases are known to make their rounds on the back of these blood suckers, and heartworm is one of them.

Heartworm Can Be Undetected for Five Years If you owner don’t actively Protect Pets From Pests

The mosquito bites an infected animal, then lays eggs using infected blood. The larvae, known as microfilaria grow into mosquitoes that are already carrying the heartworm parasite. They bite animals, and infect them with the larvae, that will grow in the animals blood stream, where they eventually will get lodged in the ventricles of the animals heart, hence the name heartworm.

Many pet owners may be shocked to discover that while heartworm is fatal, it can also be cured. However, the cure is difficult, and can often shorten the animal’s life cycle. Since it can take up to five years to show symptoms of dirofilariasis, the animal may be at an advanced age by the time they are diagnosed, according to veterinarian Fox Chapel. This is one of the reasons for the risk factor in the treatment.

The other risk factor is the treatment itself, which is arsenic. The idea is to give the pet as much arsenic as is necessary to kill the heartworms, without killing the animal. If the idea of poisoning your cat or dog is abhorrent to treat them, this is one of the most compelling reasons to prevent heartworm in your pet rather than treating it. Heartworm treatment is inexpensive, and very easy to administer. Chewable tablets, once a month, and the cost can be under $100 for a year. If you would like more information, contact the caring experts at River Valley Veterinary Hospital for an appointment.

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