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Preventing Heartworms and Other Parasites in Pets

A dog or cat can look parasite-free from the outside, but this doesn't mean that extra care should stop there. It's also important to keep your pet's insides clear of heartworms and other parasites. These unwanted riders drag your pet's condition down and can even lead to death. Fortunately, it's easy to prevent them from ever getting a foothold.

Two golden retrievers playing on a hiking trail.

Parasite Prevention is Easier than Ever

Thanks to advances in anti-parasite medication, it's possible to keep your pet from ever being infested by the major types of internal and external parasitic creatures. For dogs, all it takes is a dose every month to keep problems away. Most of these canine medications come in the form of tasty medicated chews, which are readily accepted and wolfed down by the receiving dog. Cats can also get many anti-parasite medications in easy-to-give oral forms, though for external parasites, treated collars are still recommended.

What Types of Parasites Can Be Prevented?

Heartworms were the first type of parasite to be conquered through the use of tasty long-term meds, but now, the concept has spread to cover many other types. Internal parasites like hookworms and roundworms are routinely prevented in this manner, as are external ones like ticks and fleas.

Does One Medicine Cover Everything?

Not quite yet. While flea and tick prevention is often accomplished along with protection against some types of internal worms, it is typical for heartworm medicines to be given separately. This is partly because not all parasites are vulnerable to the same medicinal agents. Another reason coverage is spread out is that not all animals are in areas that carry a high risk of every possible type of infestation. It's generally better for the animals to only give them medications for things they are likely to actually encounter.

Of course, in some areas – especially sub-tropical ones like Cooper City, FL, fully-tropical regions, and areas with plenty of other animals around – more protection will be needed. Such regions support a broader variety of lifeforms of all sorts, and that includes parasites. With no winters to speak of, you'll need to treat your pet for more months each year, too.

Where Can I Get Long-Term Medicines for Pet Parasite Control?

True long-term anti-parasite medicines are prescribed by Embassy Lakes Animal Hospital, a veterinarian in Cooper City, as well as by other vets. A prescription is needed because the dosage and type of medicine depend on factors like a dog breed, pet size, and expected exposure to sources of contamination. Some medicines are great for certain animals but deadly to others, so it's important not to guess about which ones to use.

To get a prescription, just set up an appointment with us by calling 954-432-5811.

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