Prevent Fleas, Ticks & More

PREVENTATIVES FOR CATS
Whether your cat lives indoors all the time or is an indoor/outdoor kitty, it is important to keep him/her free of parasites that can impact the cat’s health and even be problematic for you. Fleas cause flea infectious anemia in cats which can occur suddenly, be life-threatening, and affect indoor as well as indoor/outdoor cats.

We recommend Revolution Plus or Bravecto Plus. Both products provide the broadest protection of any parasite control product on the market, killing fleas, ticks, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms and heartworms. As FDA-approved products, both products are safe and effective.

Revolution Plus is a topical product applied once a month. It is safe for kittens as young as 8 weeks weighing 2.8 pounds or more. It is small-volume and quick-drying and does not require you to separate the cat from other pets or humans until it dries.

Bravecto Plus is also a topical product which we use every three months and is approved for cats over six months of age. It is a slightly larger volume when you apply it, and it has an oily texture. It takes up to 24 hours to dry, but it is not toxic to people who happen to touch the wet spot.


PREVENTATIVES FOR DOGS
In central Pennsylvania, we recommend that all of our dogs take a monthly flea and tick preventative. This helps to keep your dog from getting Lyme disease, but it also helps to prevent other tick transmitted diseases such as anaplasma, and it also provides flea control.
Additionally we recommend that all of our patients take a monthly heartworm prevention and intestinal parasite prevention. Dogs do carry intestinal parasites that can be transmitted to people. Children are especially at risk. CHildren are are not great at washing their hands. They are more likely than adults to pet a dog and touch their mouth or lick their fingers or forget to wash their hands before eating.

As dog owners in a community, it’s also very important that our dogs are free of parasites that might create disease in our neighbors’ dogs.
Heartworm disease is not especially common in our area. But we do receive many rescue dogs who come to this area from the southeast and south central United States. Those dogs are very likely to carry heartworm disease and can transmit the disease to dogs in our area through mosquitoes, which could transmit the infection from a heartworm-positive dog to your dog.

Simparica TRIO is our preventative of choice for most dogs. Simparica Trio is an excellent medication that helps to prevent fleas and ticks very effectively and also contains a heartworm preventative and routine dewormer. This medication is pre-approved for dogs as young as eight weeks of age. Simparica Trio is proven to be more effective against hookworms.

Alternatively, Simparica is available as just a flea tick preventative. Some clients prefer to give that along with Interceptor Plus which treats whipworms and tapeworms in addition to other intestinal parasites covered by Simparica Trio. If your dog eats rodents, bunnies or chipmunks, s/he probably should be on the Simparia/Interceptor Plus combo rather than TRIO.

ANNUAL TICK DISEASE AND HEARTWORM SCREEN

We recommend that all dogs are screened annually for Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and ehrlichia, which are all tick-borne diseases. About 14% of our patients test positive for Lyme disease and about 10% test positive for anaplasmosis each year.
Early detection and treatment of these diseases can help prevent chronic problems that can result from untreated Lyme infection or anaplasmosis.
Our screening test also includes an annual heartworm test and we should have results in 8 to 10 minutes during your visit.

LYME DISEASE VACCINATION
There is a high incidence of Lyme disease in our area. We recommend that all of our dogs are vaccinated as soon as possible for Lyme disease and that they receive booster vaccines every year.

We also recommend routine flea and tick prevention to try and prevent the ticks from transmitting lyme disease, even through the winter months. Ticks may go dormant, but they don’t die off.

Additionally, we recommend annual screening in case our patients become positive because we want to proactively prevent some of the chronic side effects of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease if untreated can cause chronic joint inflammation and arthritis as well as chronic kidney disease and other health issues in dogs.

LEPTOSPIROSIS VACCINATION
Leptospira is a bacterial infection which dogs acquire from water in which wildlife or farm animals have urinated. Leptospira can be fatal and can be “zoonotic,” meaning that it can be spread to people.

For many years, we’ve recommended this vaccination for our hunting dogs and dogs who run or hike in the game lands in our area because of all the seasonal wet areas with puddles and free-standing water. However…! Recent research has shown that very small breed dogs are the most likely to be ill with leptospirosis. Based on this research, we should be vaccinating our small dogs more proactively than we’ve been in the past.

CANINE INFLUENZA VACCINATION
Canine influenza, also known as “dog flu,” is a relatively new disease that is extremely contagious. There is no treatment other than supportive care, and the virus can lead to pneumonia. More and more dog owners are choosing to get this vaccinations for their pet.
For more information about canine influenza, visit Dog Flu.

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