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Heartworm disease is a serious but preventable condition. It affects dogs, cats and ferrets and can be potentially fatal.
A tiny bite from just one mosquito is all it takes for the parasite to enter your pet’s body and bloodstream. Over time, heartworm larvae can grow into long worms that live in the heart and major vessels surrounding the heart. The heart muscles get weakened and the pet’s lungs slowly get obstructed. If left undetected or untreated, the worms can even cause sudden death. This is why heartworm preventives are important and should be administered year-round.
Fleas are tiny parasites that live on the blood of mammals and are the most common external parasite in dogs and cats. Fleas can transmit disease to you and your pets before they are even found and removed.
In 2009, Banfield research team reported that, among cats and dogs, cats seen in our hospitals had the highest prevalence of fleas when compared to dogs nearly as high as 12 percent. The northwestern United States had the highest reported prevalence of fleas in cats.
As pets age, their preventive health care needs can evolve. Because needs can change, it’s important to review your Optimum Wellness Plan® regularly.
Dogs can be born with genetic mutations that impact their health. Once such mutation is the MDR1 gene mutation. The MDR1 gene mutation is generally found in many herding breeds, some sighthound breeds and many mixed-breed dogs.
In most parts of the country, spring weather brings barbecues, evenings spent outdoors and something less desirable: an increase in your pet's risk of contracting heartworm disease.
Natural or organic flea preparations have been tried for years, but their effectiveness have not been proven. Even though using natural products may seem like the “green” way to go, they may do little to control parasites and could potentially be toxic if used inappropriately.
With the sunshine and increased outdoor activity come unique needs for your pet. If your pet typically goes outdoors (whether it’s a short walk or a weekend camping trip), or simply rides in the car with you, you can take steps to lower its risk to many common outdoor summer and outdoor hazards.