Protect Your Pets and Family from Parasites and Ticks

Spring has finally arrived, bringing warmer weather and the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with your furry friends. However, with the thawing of winter comes a hidden danger: parasites. Dogs and cats that have been cooped up all winter are now venturing outside, and along with them come the risk of encountering intestinal parasites and ticks.

The Dangers of Intestinal Parasites

Fecal matter left behind by pets can harbor intestinal parasite eggs, which can survive for long periods in the environment. These parasites, including roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, giardia, and coccidia, can cause a range of health issues for your pet, from diarrhea and vomiting to anemia and even death. Puppies and kittens are particularly vulnerable, but all pets are at risk.

Preventing Intestinal Parasites

Regular fecal testing at your veterinarian’s office can detect these parasites early, even if your pet shows no signs of infection. Routine deworming is also crucial, but it’s important to note that not all parasites are covered by standard deworming products. Cleaning up after your pet and preventing contact with contaminated areas can help reduce the risk of infection.

Ticks: A Growing Concern

Ticks are another threat that becomes more prevalent in the spring. These tiny arachnids can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, erlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever to both pets and humans. Ticks can be found in wooded areas and tall grass, but they can also be present in urban environments, including your own backyard.

Protecting Your Pets and Family

Prevention is key when it comes to ticks. Keep your pets away from tick-infested areas, and use tick repellents recommended by your Veterinarian, which can help repel and kill ticks . Checking your pets for ticks after outdoor activities is also important. For added protection, consider vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease.

What to Do If You Find a Tick

If you find a tick on your pet, remove it promptly and carefully to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Use blunt tweezers to grasp the tick near the skin and pull it out gently. Avoid crushing the tick, as this can increase the risk of infection. After removal, disinfect the bite area and wash your hands thoroughly. Bring the pet to your vet clinic so it can be submitted to the tick surveillance program (free of charge). You will be notified if the tick could be a lyme disease carrier.

As spring brings new adventures for you and your pets, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks posed by parasites and ticks. By taking preventive measures and staying vigilant, you can help protect your pets and your family from these common springtime dangers. If you have any concerns or need assistance with parasite prevention, contact us at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic.

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