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Angie’s List: Protecting Your Pet from Parasites

AngiesWEB(WGGB) — The dog days of summer are upon us. Chances are your furry friend is spending a lot of time outdoors, which exposes them to plenty of harmful parasites.

You can prevent these health issues before they start.

“Being a volunteer at the Humane Society I see too many animals with heartworm, coming in with fleas and ticks, and I see this and I feel so sorry for them because they are suffering,” says pet owner Joe Kaiser.

No pet is immune to parasites, especially this time of year.

“Especially during these summer months, preventative care for your pets is important when it comes to parasites because it’s very easy for them to pick up fleas, for example,” says Angie Hicks of Angie’s List. “The treatment is much more expensive than the preventative maintenance is.”

“They can make pets who are allergic to fleas very sick as far as their skin is concerned,” adds veterinarian Dr. Greg Magnusson. “Flea allergy dermatitis is one of our most common presenting signs in the spring and summer.”

Even indoor pets are susceptible to parasites. You can easily track fleas inside your home, and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes are hard to keep out.

“A mosquito will suck blood out of an infected dog or cat and fly over to a neighbor’s house and then take a second blood meal off that dog or cat and inject the worms into that pet,” says Dr. Magnusson.

A monthly chewable will protect your pet, but you’ll need a prescription from your vet.

Finally, be mindful of ticks, which can latch on and transmit Lyme disease.

“Most of our ticks we find from dogs that aren’t necessarily hiking in wooded areas, but are just in their backyard,” says Magnusson.

There are several effective products that protect against fleas, heartworm and ticks. You should talk with your veterinarian about the best treatment for your pet.


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