Fleas, ticks, worms, and mites can make your dog sick and feel miserable. The good news is that you can protect your pet from these parasites. It does cost some money to prevent parasite-borne diseases, but it is cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat an illness!
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Ben Franklin
Fleas can make your dog very itchy, lose their hair, and lose lots of blood. In addition, fleas can carry tapeworm eggs. If your pet eats a flea that is carrying tapeworm eggs, your pet can get tapeworms. If your pet has tapeworms, you will notice small, hard, seed-like particles where your pet sleeps.
You can treat a flea problem with flea collars, powders, sprays, shampoos, and dips. However, these treatments must be repeated often in order to work. The easiest and best way to prevent fleas is to use a monthly “spot-on” topical medicine. A few drops on your pet’s neck is all it takes to kill fleas for one month.
Fleas can make your dog’s life miserable, so please protect your dog from these biting parasites. Fleas are not much of a problem for your dog in Reno and Washoe County. But, if you have traveled, or plan to travel outside the area with your dog, please give us a call 775.827.3033 to learn what preventative measures and treatments you can use.
Ticks have been steadily increasing in their prevalence in and around Reno. Ticks can spread diseases to your dog such as, Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The easiest way to keep them safe is by prevention. We now offer an easy chewable preventative you give once monthly. We recommend flea/tick preventative April through October if you stay in and around Reno. If you travel to any endemic areas during other times- pets should be treated prior to travel. If you do notice a tick on your pet- you must remove it by the head- it is very important to remove the head completely. If you have any problem with this then you should call your veterinarian. Your pet should also be tested for any tick born diseases 30-45 days after your pet was detected with a tick.
Heartworms are deadly worms that are carried by the mosquito. If an infected mosquito bites your dog, your dog can get heartworms. Heartworms are long, thin worms that actually live in the pet’s heart. Heartworms cause blocked blood vessels, breathing problems, bleeding problems, and heart failure. Your pet can die from untreated heartworms.
Signs of a serious heartworm infection include coughing, intolerance of exercise, fainting, and difficulty breathing. The only way to prevent heartworms is by giving your dog medicine each month. Monthly heartworm medicine kills baby heartworms in your dog’s blood.
There are four other types of worms that live in the intestines and make dogs and cats sick. The most common is the roundworm. Most puppies and kittens have roundworms. Pets with roundworms may have a “pot-bellied” appearance, vomiting, and poor growth. Puppies and kittens should be tested for worms when they get their shots. If untreated, roundworms can kill puppies. Adult dos can also get roundworms. Hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms are similar to roundworms. Diarrhea, dehydration and weight loss are the most common symptoms. Sometimes you will see worms or parts of worms in your pet’s bowel movements, around the anus, or in their bedding.
Your vet can test your puppy or dog for worms. It is not very expensive to test and treat your pet for worms. Puppies should be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every month until 6 months of age. After this age you should worm your dog every six weeks for life.
Mites are so small that they are hard to see. Some mites cause a serious skin problem called mange (a disease that causes itching, hair loss, and sores). Ear mites are a common problem in both dogs and cats. They produce a buildup of very dark, waxy matter inside the ear and cause itching. An animal with ear mites will scratch at its ears and may shake its head a lot. Your vet can give you inexpensive medications to treat mites.
If in doubt about which is best to use for your individual circumstances our veterinary technicians will be more than happy to advise you. Give us a call at 775.827.3033. Flea collars, powders, shampoos or other treatments which may be freely available from supermarkets, pet shops or pharmacies are not really effective and should be avoided (even though they may be cheaper!)