April 1, 2024

Ask The Expert: Protecting your Pet from Parasites

1.4 min read| Published On: April 1st, 2024|

By Akers Editorial

Ask The Expert: Protecting your Pet from Parasites

1.4 min read| Published On: April 1st, 2024|

Dr. Cara Erwin-Oliver

Veterinarian at Belleview Veterinary Hospital


How can you be proactive in protecting your pet from parasites?

Moving to Florida offers a multitude of attractions, from its lush foliage and vibrant wildlife to its inviting beaches and year-round warmth. However, amidst these charms, there’s a less appealing aspect: parasites. While it may seem like a jest, Florida’s climate indeed fosters an environment favorable to various parasites, posing risks to both pets and humans alike.

Among the most prevalent parasites are fleas and ticks, often dismissed as mere nuisances but carrying serious health threats. These external parasites not only cause discomfort through bites but also transmit bacterial infections and bloodborne diseases. Flea allergy dermatitis, a common ailment in Florida pets, leads to incessant scratching and secondary infections. Tick bites can result in tick paralysis or transmit diseases, while severe infestations can lead to anemia or even death. Fortunately, effective prescription flea and tick control, administered monthly, mitigates
these risks.

Intestinal parasites like hookworms and roundworms are equally pervasive, causing gastrointestinal distress and severe anemia. Particularly lethal to puppies, these parasites thrive in Florida’s environment, infecting pets through exposure to eggs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and life-threatening complications. Preventive measures, including routine deworming and hygiene, are crucial in combating these parasites.

Heartworms, transmitted by mosquitoes, present a pervasive threat across all states, including Florida. Larvae transmitted through mosquito bites develop into adult worms, obstructing heart valves and leading to congestive heart failure. Despite being an indoor pet disease, mosquitoes readily infiltrate homes, necessitating year-round preventive measures.

Fortunately, various preventive treatments, available in oral or topical forms, offer comprehensive protection against these parasites, including heartworms, fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms. Additionally, some preventions target ear mites, tapeworms, whipworms, and scabies. Upon relocating to Florida, whether permanently or seasonally, scheduling a wellness check-up with a local veterinarian is essential. This ensures tailored preventive care, safeguarding your pet’s well-being in Florida’s captivating but parasite-prone environment.

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