As your veterinarian near Las Vegas, we take parasite control and prevention very seriously, because parasites can ruin your pet’s health and quality of life. Parasites can spread disease and bacteria that cause life-threatening illnesses. The three main culprits are fleas, mosquitos, and ticks. It’s essential that you and your veterinary hospital work together to keep your pet safe from parasites through a regular pet exam, prompt treatment of any parasite-related illness and year-round prevention.
How Parasites Attack Your Pet
A single mosquito bite can give your pet heartworms. Worms can then grow up to foot in length and multiply throughout your dog’s (and less often, cat’s) vital organs. Heartworm disease harms the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys--and it often kills. Flea bites are irritating and can also cause anemia, tapeworms and Bartonella, (cat-scratch fever bacteria), a zoonotic condition, (transferable to humans). A tick bite can spread Rock Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. In addition to these parasites, pets can contract intestinal parasites, such as hookworms or roundworms, which can also be transmitted to humans.
Intestinal parasites can enter your pet's system in a number of ways. Some can be transmitted to kittens or puppies during birth from the mother (roundworms and hookworms). Tapeworms can be spread by flea bites. Parasites can also be spread (to other pets and even humans) due to contact with an infected pet's feces.
Why Parasite Prevention is Crucial for Your Pet’s Health
Preventing parasites from attacking and feeding on your pet is much, much simpler (and more successful) than treating infestations and organ damage after they occur. In some cases, like cats with heartworm disease, there is currently no approved treatment. In other cases, treatment to eliminate certain types of parasites is risky for your pet, and treatment can be expensive. If your pet is affected by parasites, which go undiscovered or untreated s/he could end up in our Las Vegas emergency animal hospital. For all these reasons, we focus on pet parasite prevention as much as possible. Be sure to remind kids to wash hands often and you should clean up pet waste right away.
A Regularly Scheduled Pet Exam includes Parasite Screening
Our veterinary hospital can screen for parasites during a wellness exam or pet checkup once or twice per year. We'll examine your pet's body for signs of flea or tick infestation. Intestinal parasites can be discovered in stool testing. Other parasite infestations can be ruled out through blood testing. At this point, we can treat any parasitic infection, if present and/or recommend the proper type of prevention medication(s) for your pet. Our emergency animal hospital treats pets with signs of severe parasite infestation.
Parasite Control and Prevention Options
To make parasite control and prevention easier, some combination medicines have been developed, such as Interceptor® Plus. This is a chicken-flavored (chewable) de-worming tablet that can help your dog or puppy (over 2 lbs or 6 weeks of age) avoid heartworm as well as roundworm, whipworm, tapeworms and adult hookworm infestation. Preventative parasite prevention injections may also be available from our Las Vegas veterinary hospital and emergency animal hospital.
For fleas and ticks, there are a variety of types and formats of preventative medications, including tablets, spot skin treatments, shampoos and more. Our veterinarian near Las Vegas will recommend the best product for your cat or dog.
Contact Our Local Animal Hospital in Las Vegas for More Information!
If your pet is overdue for a wellness exam or you've noticed signs of worms, fleas or ticks, please make an appointment at Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, NV. Contact us at 709-259-9200.