Intestinal parasites have wormed their way into our pets. With more people adopting dogs from the US especially the southern states we expect to see the prevalence of heartworm positive cases in Nova Scotia increase.
Sometimes we have a hard time implementing a parasite control program for parasites that owners can’t see. The amount of tick prevention that is used has gone up dramatically mainly because ticks are in geographic areas they haven’t always been. There is a concern that because we are proactive with tick prevention, we are forgetting or paying less attention to intestinal parasites such as heartworm. We are here to tell you that this is not true.
Establishing an anti-parasite protocol is important because both internal and external parasites can pose a threat to our pets as well as ourselves. This protocol depends on where you live, your pets’ lifestyle and age. From this information, we can establish which products are right for your pet and if we would recommend a year-round program or just when they are more at risk.
We recommend protecting your pet year-round if they are:
- Outdoor dogs
- Hunting cats
- Pets who go to daycare
- Dogs who go to dog parks
- Pets who are in areas where there are wildlife and mosquitos
Age plays a role as well, due to high rates of infection puppies and kittens are assumed to have intestinal worms. Young pets can be infected from their mother and the environment shortly after birth. They can be infected with certain types of worms even before they are born. Puppies and kittens have immature immune systems meaning that they are at a higher risk for contracting parasitic diseases. Which is why they receive multiple parasite treatments when they are young.
While climate, age, lifestyle and geography can make risks for parasites higher or lower no pet is safe. We strongly recommend that all pets regardless of lifestyle be on a deworming protocol. Give us a call to book an appointment.
Written by: Jane Corkum, DVM