June 13, 2013
Flea, Tick and Heartworm Control
It is that time of year again. Warm weather, rain, outdoor activities are back and that means bugs, and for your pets that means fleas, ticks and heartworms. But what is the right choice for you and your pet? There are some general rules for all pets, but some pets have more specific needs than others. Which product? How often? How long? These questions and the different choices available can be confusing. At Pet WOW, we tailor a plan that fits your needs and your pet’s needs best and carry the quality products we trust best.
For fleas and ticks, we recommend Vectra. It is a topical, monthly application that is effective at killing fleas, larvae and also ticks. It also has proven to help repel some of the other biting insects. We have found that some other products that used to be very effective are not anymore and we have switched to better protect your pet.
For heartworms, we carry Heartgard and Iverheart. Both are once a month, flavored oral chewables and prevent heartworms and some intestinal parasites.
Ticks can be very difficult to prevent but some products can help not only kill them but prevent them from getting on your pet in the first place. Vectra does both. Other products claim to be effective but we have found that this is not always true.
For combination preventatives, we have the oral product Trifexis,
and the topical Revolution. Both are very good for fleas and heartworm prevention but are not effective against ticks, although revolution can kill 1 type of tick.
Which is right for my pet and when should I treat?
For pets that spend any time outside, we recommend preventing these parasites all year long and also every month, even if your pet only goes outside to use the bathroom. Your pet is constantly exposed to these parasites when outdoors and some of these parasites get inside every day. Even in the colder months, parasites will survive in warm places where your pet may also spend time. It only takes a few warm days for eggs and cause problems.
Ticks are also a major concern for pets that go outside, not only to them but to us too. Ticks also can transmit infectious diseases to our pets and us. Not all pets are exposed to ticks the same. Ticks are more prevalent near tall grass, the woods and pastures. Your pet may be at higher risk if you like to hike camp or live near theses areas.
For heartworms, it is important to makes sure dogs do not have the adult infection prior to using prevention, so keeping them on the preventions every month can mean only testing once a year. It is harder to diagnose and treat cats for heartworms, so continual prevention is the key.
Indoor pets may have fewer risks and may not need as much prevention but it is still important to prevent heartworms and fleas during the warm months. Mosquitoes can get inside and fleas can come in on other pets and find there way to indoor only pets. Some people will decrease the frequency of applying preventives if their pet does not go outside. Another factor to consider is if you will have any pets visiting or will be taking your pet to someone else’s house to visit where then may be exposed more.
Finding the right plan for your pet is the most important thing. You may like to use the combination products during certain times of the year and then switch products as your pet’s risks change. Some owners will use more than one product to cover all their pet’s needs. Risk factors, cost, convenience and effectiveness are the factors we take into consideration. While we don’t want to over medicate; prevention is much
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