Controlling external and internal parasites, like fleas, ticks, heartworm and intestinal parasites, is an important part of preventative health care for your pet.
Many of these can cause serious illness for your pet (a few of which can even be zoonotic, contagious to people). Fleas can cause significant discomfort as well as blood loss and the transmission of tapeworms. Heartworms can cause life threatening illness by creating congestion in the lungs and weakness of the heart itself. Ticks can transmit, through their irritating bites, tick-born diseases such as Ehrlichiosis, Babesia, Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and coccidia can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even (with certain ones) death in your very young or aged pet.
At Kansas City Veterinary Care we encourage routine diagnostics and preventative medications for all the major parasite concerns because of these threats. Depending on your pet’s risk to exposure, once a month flea/tick/heartworm preventative medication along with yearly fecal and heartworm tests are recommended. Puppies and kittens, who can be the most seriously affected, are also given routine deworming at every vaccination booster along with a possible fecal exams if symptoms are present.
Parasites can be a real concern for you and your pet, but thankfully with today's medications most can be effectively prevented and/or treated.