Parasite Screening & Prevention
Dogs and cats are prone to becoming infected with parasites at some point during their lifespan. Many puppies and kittens are born with intestinal parasites that they contracted through their mother’s milk. Some parasites can also infect humans, with children being at the highest exposure risk for contracting them. Some parasites are merely an annoyance while others can cause life threatening side effects. We work very closely with our clients to help keep their pets parasite-free.
Intestinal parasites are by far the most common, and usually the easiest to treat. Most pet owners are convinced their pet does not have intestinal parasites because their pet’s stool seems normal and they do not see any sign of the parasites themselves. However, many times if a pet is infected with worms or other intestinal parasites they will not show any sign of having parasites at all. If the parasite is healthy, it will remain in the intestines – feeding from your pet. The eggs of the parasite do pass in the stool, however they are microscopic, and require a special test to detect them. Some parasites themselves are microscopic, and therefore could never be detected by the naked eye if the adult parasites do detach and pass in the stool. A centrifuged fecal floatation test is one of the best tools we can use to detect parasites in your pet. Our trained staff is highly adept at reading these stool samples, and can detect and identify the tiniest microscopic parasite ova on any given sample.
Once we know if your pet has a parasite, and what that parasite is we can easily treat them so that they remain healthy and unencumbered.
Heartworm Disease is caused by a worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary artery leading to the lungs. The worms are spread from dog to dog via mosquito bites. Our fluctuating climate means that dogs in Ohio can be exposed to heartworms year around. Heartworm disease is treatable but the cure for these parasites is invasive and not without side effects. Prevention is the best recommendation our clinic can make for your pet. Heartworm preventatives come in many forms, most of them being a once per month oral or topical medication. There are combination products for heartworm disease and flea prevention available; however none of the combination products include tick prevention. If your dog will have any exposure to ticks or has ever picked up a tick in the past we recommend separate heartworm and flea/tick medications. For example: Heartgard Plus for heartworm prevention and Advantix or Seresto for flea and tick prevention. If your dog’s exposure to ticks is low or nonexistent then a combination heartworm/flea preventative such as Advantage Multi (topical) is recommended. Aquadale recommends starting all new puppies on heartworm prevention once they reach 6 weeks of age. A yearly blood sample will be drawn and checked for the presence of heartworms to ensure your dog remains negative for this disease throughout his or her life. Heartworm preventative and yearly screening are just as important as vaccinations for your dog’s health and well-being. We recommend all dogs regardless of lifestyle remain on Heartworm preventative all year around due to our climate.