Everybody loves the warmer weather but so do parasites! Outdoor temperatures of 4°C or greater will cause activity of fleas and ticks.
Let's explore the 3 most common parasites that will affect your pet this spring and summer:
Fleas are the most common parasite to affect your pet. They are attracted to beings that are warm and exhale carbon dioxide. Therefore, all it takes is for your dog or cat to go outside and that will cause attraction of nearby fleas. A female flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day. This can quickly escalade into a significant flea infestation inside your home.
Once thought to only affect pets in certain locations throughout Ontario, ticks are becoming a very important and common parasite affecting pets in the Kitchener Waterloo Region. Ticks do not necessarily live on your pet, but spend many days on your pet feeding.
Perhaps the largest concern with a tick bite, is the possibility of contracting serious tick borne diseases, such as lyme disease. We have found many cases of lyme infection from tick bites in the Kitchener area.
Should you find a tick on your pet, it is very important to remove the tick properly. Simply pulling the tick off, may lead to embedded parts of the tick to remain in your pet. There are special tools available to safely and entirely remove ticks. Alternatively, administering a medication such as Bravecto® can cause immediate removal of ticks.
This a mosquito borne worm parasite that resides in the large vessels surrounding the heart. Shortly after being bitten by an infected mosquito, microscopic larvae gain access to your dog's blood stream and continue to develop into larger worms.
Although the prevalence of heartworm disease has decreased in Kitchener Waterloo over the past few years, it still remains a potentially fatal, and expensive disease. Prevention is very safe and effective and is administered either with a monthly tablet or a topical application.
Good news! Preventing your pet against parasites is easy and cost effective. Options would include a monthly flavoured tablet, or a monthly topical applications. We recommend to start a preventative in April and the last dose in November.