Parasite Prevention and Treatment

Parasites are a common source of concern for pets and their owners. Common parasites in animals include fleas, ticks, and heartworms. Fleas feed off the blood of their host, causing itching, skin irritation, and loss of appetite. Ticks burrow into the skin and can cause serious conditions like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Heartworms are parasites that live in the heart and lungs, potentially causing organ damage and death. Dr. Sheila Santiago at Animal Kingdom Veterinary Center in Boca Raton is an expert in flea prevention, tick prevention, and heartworm prevention. Read on for more information about parasite prevention and treatment. 

Parasite Prevention

Prevention of Parasites

Prevention is crucial to keeping your pet healthy and free from parasites. If you are unsure how to protect your pet, consult your veterinarian. Prevention techniques include:

1. Flea and Tick Collars: Collars release chemicals that kill fleas and ticks and are available at pet stores, online, or at your vet's office.

2. Spot-On Treatments: These are liquid chemicals applied to the skin (usually the back of the neck) to kill fleas and ticks. They provide long-term protection and can be purchased over the counter or prescribed by the vet.

3. Oral Medication: Veterinarians prescribe oral medication each year to prevent heartworm. Pets typically take a pill once a month, and oral medication may also be given to prevent fleas and ticks.

Treatment for Parasites

If your pet is found to be infested with a parasite, the vet can help using a variety of methods. Depending on the severity of the condition, they may:

  • Give a bath with medicated shampoo
  • Administer topical medication
  • Prescribe an oral treatment
  • Administer an injectable medication

The vet will also recommend steps you can take at home to reduce the chances of future parasite issues, such as keeping their area clean, washing bedding regularly, bathing, avoiding wooded and high grass areas, checking their fur after being outdoors, and regular brushing and combing. Additionally, it's important to prevent them from coming into contact with strange or stray animals and their feces.

Symptoms/Signs of Parasites in Pets

If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, it's advisable to make an appointment with a veterinarian near you:

  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive grooming
  • Red/raw patches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale gums
  • Dark specks on fur
  • Small bumps under the skin
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Visit Animal Kingdom Veterinary Center in Boca Raton, FL

The caring and professional staff at Animal Kingdom Veterinary Center welcomes you to contact us with any questions you may have about parasite prevention or any other concerns you have about your pet's well-being.


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