Why We Recommend Pet Parasite Prevention in Tampa
Parasites can be found everywhere, but they’re especially partial to mild climates. Tampa and surrounding areas offer just that, which is why fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes thrive here. These particular pests are a problem because not only do they infest homes and pets in vast numbers; they can also carry and spread diseases. At Circle of Life Animal Hospital, we strongly recommend pet parasite prevention to stop the spread of these diseases and keep pets and people safe.
What Diseases Can Parasites Spread?
The most common parasitic diseases that pose a threat to our pets (and in some cases, us) include:
- Heartworm disease: Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and is characterized by roundworms proliferating in the major arteries of the heart and lungs. As these worms continue to multiply, the arteries gradually become blocked, greatly reducing blood flow to and from the heart. Advanced heartworm disease can result in death, and while heartworm disease can be treated in earlier stages, your pet’s health may not recover fully. Symptoms of heartworm disease include shortness of breath, chronic coughing, and weakness/lethargy.
- Lyme disease: Black-legged ticks are the most notorious vectors for Lyme disease, which is actually caused by bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks that carry this bacteria can pass it on to their host when they take a blood meal. When an animal is infected, it might take months before they start showing clinical signs. These signs can include swollen joints, lameness, lethargy, and fever. In addition to our four-legged friends, humans can also become infected with Lyme disease.
- Ehrlichiosis: Ehrlichiosis is not as common but it can be very dangerous for the animals infected. During the acute stage, a dog may show signs of fever, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, and respiratory problems. Catching infection at this stage is important, as the sub-clinical stage that follows usually yields no outward signs of infection at all. Once the infection has become chronic, it could lead to death.
- Flea allergy dermatitis: Some pets can become allergic to fleas after being bitten and develop severely itchy skin and hot spots. When your pet licks and scratches at these areas they gradually break down the protective skin barrier, leaving them vulnerable to bacterial infections.
How to Prevent Parasites and Parasitic Diseases
Parasites are tiny but resilient, and since they are active all 12 months of the year, keeping your pet protected year-round is essential. Circle of Life Animal Hospital offers fast-acting and effective parasite preventatives distinguished by species and weight. We invite you to learn more about the preventatives we offer by giving us a call at [clinic-phone galabel=”pet-parasite-prevention”] and checking out our online store. If your pet needs refills, be sure to stop by!