Here in New York City and the Tri-State Area, parasites are always present
in the environment. Dogs and cats should be on effective heartworm
and parasite preventative medication year round. There are many
options of parasite control medication and Dr. Lavine will discuss
his recommendations based upon your pet’s unique circumstances and
Have a questions about parasite control for your pet or home environment?
Call Dr. Lavine and VetCierge today!
Heartworm (Dirofilariaimmitis) is a serious, life-threatening disease of dogs and cats caused by parasitic worms living in the heart and arteries of the lungs.
Infection occurs through a bite from a mosquito infected with heartworms. The
microscopic parasites enter the bloodstream and larvae develop into
adult worms that reproduce and migrate within a pet’s system.
Heartworm disease is preventable and today’s medications are safe, easy and inexpensive. Treatment for heartworm disease, on the other hand, is a complicated
and expensive process. It is necessary to have a heartworm test prior to using a preventive as severe reactions may occur if preventives are given to dogs positive for heartworm disease. Additionally, this test screens for the most common tick-borne
diseases in our area.
Although heartwormis seen less frequently in cats, the disease poses a much greater
danger and the outcome is often fatal. There currently are no drugs approved for treating heartworm disease in cats. Nearly one-third of the cats with heartworm disease do not go outdoors! The good news is that there are heartworm prevention drugs available for cats. These medications not only protect cats from heartworm disease, but also prevent fleas and common intestinal parasites.
Dr. Lavine strongly encourages monthly administration of heartworm medication for the
prevention of heartworm disease and intestinal parasites in dogs andcats year round.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas are ubiquitous in the environment, especially New York City, and it is easy for pets
to pick them up while outside. Fleas can also be carried into your home and yard by rodents and wildlife. Fleas are the number one cause of allergies and skin disease in dogs and cats, and flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) can be caused by a single flea bite. Fleas also play a role in transmitting parasites, such as tapeworms, and
bacterial diseases, such as bartonellosis (cat scratch fever), to pets and humans.
Keep in mind that the fleas you see on your pet only represent 5% of the flea
population. The other 95% are waiting in various immature stages in your pet’s immediate environment – in carpeting, bedding or hiding in hard-to-reach crevices.
Ticks are abundant in New York City and can especially be found in local dog parks and
Central Park. Pets that travel to Connecticut, New Jersey, Eastern New York including The Hamptons, and country houses are at an even greater risk. The concern with ticks is the number of serious diseases they can transmit, such as Lyme disease, Babesiosis,
Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These diseases can cause significant illness and even death in both pets and people.
Fleas and ticks are easily prevented from bothering and transmitting disease to your pet
through the use of safe, easy to administer, effective products. We believe in monthly, year round prevention for both dogs and cats. Additionally, make a habit of performing frequent “tick checks” on your pet, particularly if they have any access to grassy or wooded areas where ticks may lurk.
There are many options of parasite control medications and Dr. Lavine will discuss
his recommendations based upon your pet’s unique circumstances and risks. Call us today to learn more about parasite control!
The most common intestinal worms are roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms,and whipworms. Among the most common protozoa are coccidia, toxoplasma and giardia. Signs of infection may include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, itching, a poor hair coat or a change in your pet’s appetite. Unfortunately, in the case of parasites,identification isn’t always straightforward. Adult worms release their eggs sporadically and some pets may show no clinical signs of disease despite being infected.Intestinal parasites can zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from pets to people.Especially at risk are children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals. Therefore, preventative care, appropriate treatment and consistent hygiene are of the utmost importance.Regular fecal exams and deworming are the most effective ways to prevent parasites andtheir transmission. Additionally, monthly administration of certain heartworm prevention medications also protects against hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.