Having a pet is a wonderful thing but it does take a lot of time, money and care to make sure they live a long, happy, and healthy life. We always think about proper food, good quality exercise and of course their regular trips to the veterinarians for exams and vaccinations. These are all important but one thing that often not fully discussed is the importance of regular, monthly preventatives for flea, tick, heart worms and intestinal parasites. Living in such a warm climate makes it essential to keep your pet on these year round. All of these products work as preventatives, not treatments when a problem arises. Our veterinary clinic in Tampa stocks many different preventatives and we will help you select the best one for your pet based on it’s lifestyle.
Being a veterinary clinic in Tampa, we are always going to be dealing with mosquitoes. These are the primary mechanism for transmission of heart worms in our dogs and cats making it essential to use monthly preventatives year round. In the past, before we had such safe and effective preventatives, heart worms would cause a severe blockage of the arteries and damage lung tissue which would end in heart failure. Treatment for dogs who do contract heart worms has become safer but still carries a risk as well as being relatively expensive compared to the monthly preventatives. Many people think that dogs are the only ones who can get this disease but our cat patients are at risk as well. For those that spend time outside or on a screened porch and exposed to mosquitoes, a monthly heart worm preventative is recommended.
Fleas are another parasite that can be controlled by year round monthly preventatives. Once again, being in a warm climate such as Tampa makes these little pest a year round struggle. Lately, with our warmer that usual winters, we have seen a huge increase in the number of flea related diseases. These range from skin disorders to infectious diseases transmitted by the flea bite. Remember, these products are meant to be used monthly as preventatives, not only used when fleas are seen. It is also important to remember that environmental treatment for fleas is going to be required in many cases since they are so prevalent in our area. There are many different products on the market today so give our veterinary clinic in Tampa a call to get assistance in picking the right one for your pet.
Last but not least, most monthly heart worm preventatives also help prevent intestinal parasites in your pets. Keeping them parasite free is also important for your health since some of the intestinal parasites your pet may carry are also contagious to humans (ex. hookworms). Although not a huge problem in our country, there are still many reported cases of humans, primarily children, coming in contact with parasite infected areas and contracting the disease. Monitoring your pet on a yearly basis along with year round monthly preventatives will help prevent such problems in your household.
To summarize, the importance of using preventatives monthly and on a year round basis is important to both your pets and you. It is because of these safe preventatives that many conditions in our pets, such as heart worm disease have decreased over the years. Let’s keep up the good work and continue to keep us and our pets safe and healthy. If you have any questions for our veterinarians in Tampa FL, please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.