2015 Seresto Collar Promotion
Receive $15 Off your purchase of any Seresto collar with mail in rebate!
Flea and Tick Monthly Preventatives
Fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance, they can also transmit deadly diseases to you and your cat or dog.
We recommend that all dogs and cats are started on Frontline or Nexgard as early as possible and that they receive a monthly dose year round to aid in the prevention of flea- and tick-borne illnesses.
The onset of spring marks the beginning of flea season. These blood-sucking parasites can be picked up almost anywhere: in your backyard, when you are out on walks, even in your own home.
Once on a pet, fleas reproduce rapidly; just one flea can lay 40 to 50 eggs per day and up to 2000 in its lifetime. The eggs hang loosely to the animal’s coat and gradually fall off into the carpet, upholstered furniture, kennels, blankets, etc. There, they begin their development. In 2 to 14 days the eggs hatch into small, worm-like larvae that reside in floor cracks and crevices, along baseboards, under rugs, and in furniture and beds. They feed on organic matter such as adult flea feces, dead skin, hair, and feathers. In one week to several months, they encase themselves in silken cocoons woven into carpet and furniture fibers. This pupa stage can last from 5 days to 9 months and the adult flea only emerges when a blood source is near. Twenty-four hours after its first blood meal the flea begins laying eggs and the cycle begins again.
With their high reproductive capabilities, even a few fleas can quickly result in a major infestation of the home, which can become extremely costly to remove.
Fleas cause your pet discomfort by making them scratch, itch, chew, and bite at themselves. They can also cause serious health issues:
- The most common skin issue—flea allergy dermatitis (FAD)—is caused by the saliva of a flea; a single flea bite can cause sensitive pets to develop a severe skin rash and hair loss
- Flea infestations can become lethal if the flea population reaches great numbers: the fleas can drink the blood of the host animal faster than the animal can replace it; this is referred to as anemia and can be fatal if not treated immediately
- Fleas can also be hosts to an additional parasite: tapeworms. The eggs of certain tapeworms are ingested by flea larvae. Once inside the flea, the tapeworm begins its development, and remains there as the flea becomes an adult. The adult flea bites an animal causing the animal to then bite itself, often ingesting the flea. Inside its final host, the tapeworm develops to maturity and sheds more eggs to be excreted and eaten by flea larvae. Humans may also develop tapeworms in the same manner.
Ticks are also blood-sucking parasites. They are usually found in tall grass and forested areas where they wait for a passing host. Once on a host a tick’s powerful jaws allows it to attach to the skin and to insert its feeding tube into the bite wound, feeding for 24 to 48 hours.
Ticks aren’t just unpleasant. They can spread numerous diseases to both humans and pets through their bite. Five common tick-borne diseases are Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis; all can be fatal.
Heartworm Monthly Preventatives
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart. Dogs and cats of any age or breed are susceptible to heartworm infection.
A heartworm prevention program should be started at 6 to 8 weeks of age and continued year round for the life of the animal. If a pet has not begun treatment before 7 months, an antigen test should be performed before starting a prevention program.
At VESH we recommend Heartgard Plus, a chewable, beef-flavored tablet that combines ivermectin with pyrantel pamoate thereby preventing heartworms and also controling roundworms and hookworms.
Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes that become infected while taking a blood meal from an infected dog. When the mosquito then bites another dog, cat, or susceptible animal, the heartworm larvae are deposited on the skin and actively migrate into the new host. For about two months the larvae migrate through the connective tissue, under the skin, then pass into the animal’s venous blood stream and are quickly transported to the arteries of the lung. It takes a total of approximately six months for the infective larvae to mature into adult worms that begin producing offspring.
Adult heartworms can live for five to seven years in a host animal.
Treating a heartworm infestation is difficult and dangerous. It is far easier and more effective to prevent the problem with an ongoing prevention program.