Not Your Average Flea: Other Parasites that Can Harm Your Pet 

Each spring, most pet owners turn their attention to the warmer weather, opportunity for outdoor reaction, and, of course, those nasty parasites that truly bug us. These fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are the bane of most of our outdoor fun. These parasites also bother our pets, so it’s no doubt that the responsible pet owner will maintain parasite preventives to reduce their risk of vector-borne disease.

But what about those other parasitic pests that can harm pets? There are actually a few lesser known parasites that cause health problems for our four-leggeds, and sometimes for us, too.

Read on as the team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital explains other parasites that can harm your pet.

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Tapeworms in Cats and Dogs

Parasites are an unfortunate topic, but a necessary one if we are to keep our pets parasite free. Tapeworms in cats and dogs are common, but luckily easy to prevent. Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital has the skinny on these nasty parasites, including how to get rid of them once and for all. 

What Are Tapeworms in Cats and Dogs?

Tapeworms in cats and dogs are parasites that set up shop in the intestinal tract. The worms are flat and segmented with a head that attaches to the intestinal wall. Several species of tapeworms can affect pets but by far the most common is Dipylidium caninum. 

An adult tapeworm can reach 6 inches in length and has the appearance of a white piece of tape or ribbon. Tapeworm segments detach from the worm and are shed in your pet’s feces. Once in the environment, the tapeworm segments break apart, releasing the eggs, which eventually become tapeworm larvae.

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Beat the Bugs in Your Yard With Pet Safe Mosquito Control

For much of the year in San Antonio, mosquitos are an unfortunate part of life thanks to our humid summers and mild winters. Besides being annoying to both people and pets, mosquitoes can also transmit a variety of diseases, such as West Nile virus and Zika virus. Since there are no vaccines or cures for these illnesses, protecting your pets and family from mosquitoes is critical.

However, while keeping bugs at bay is important, dousing your property with harsh chemicals can be dangerous, especially when you have pets. Fortunately, a little bit of creativity and elbow grease is all you need to accomplish pet safe mosquito control. Continue…

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pet Parasite Prevention

pet parasite preventionParasites are a fact of life and they can range from annoying (fleas) to deadly (heartworm), and everything in between. These tiny creatures can create a world of misery for both pets and their owners, making pet parasite prevention a vitally important part of your pet care plan.

As with any aspect of your pet’s well-being, it’s important to do your research and figure out what will work best for your pet, and you. Here are a few things you may not know about pet parasite prevention.

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Zoonotic Illnesses Can Harm You and Your Pet

The term “zoonotic” is something you might have heard before, as more cases of zoonotic illnesses have been reported over the past decade. Probably the most well known zoonotic illness is rabies. More recently, the spread of leptospirosis has garnered the attention of pet owners and has put a spotlight on illnesses that can be spread from pets to people.

Because zoonotic illnesses are something that will never be totally eradicated, it’s important to understand what these diseases are and how you can protect you and your family members, including your four-legged ones.

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Is Heartworm Prevention More Affordable Than Treatment?

heartwormWe could all do a lot with an extra thousand bucks, right? A week-long inclusive vacation, season tickets to the Spurs, or new kitchen cabinets might round out the list of possible options. However, in the case of an unfortunate diagnosis of heartworm disease in your pet, that little nest egg could be applied to the cost of treatment.

Heartworm prevention isn’t free either, but when you consider the entire annual cost is about $200, the difference between prevention and treatment is clear.

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What You Need to Know About Lyme Disease in Pets

iStock_000091288905_MediumAlthough Lyme disease is no stranger to the limelight, this vector-borne illness remains abstract to millions of people and their pets. If you’ve neither seen a tick before or experienced Lyme disease first hand, this topic may be somewhat mysterious. However, in a relatively small window (approximately 1-2 days), mystery can morph into full-blown misery for a pet bitten by an infected tick.

Because Lyme disease can harm both pets and people, prevention is vital. That’s why our team has gathered the following information about Lyme disease in pets. Continue…

The Case Against Home Remedies for Pet Parasites

carpet dogParasites. Yuck.

Whether they be microscopic, worm-like, or have six legs, no one likes parasites; especially not on their family members, furry or otherwise. We have made great advances in recent years identifying safe, effective options for pet parasites prevention.

For many reasons, however, people continue to turn to home remedies for pet parasites.

Learn why these seemingly great solutions, however, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be….

The Importance of Parasite Prevention

Besides being just plain yucky, parasites in and on pets are serious business. Parasitic infections in animals can have serious implications on your pet’s overall health and well-being. Pets who have parasites may experience: Continue…

Heartworm Disease and Cats: More Prevalent Than Commonly Thought

young cat hunting butterflyMany pet owners often associate heartworm disease with dogs since they are much more likely to be infected become infected than cats (1 cat for every 10 dogs infected). This is due to the fact that the physiological makeup of felines is more resistant to the invading parasites.

However, both cats and dogs are susceptible to the infection. And, in fact, an estimated 10-14% of tested shelter cats are affected. This alarming statistic has us questioning whether or not it is more prevalence than previously thought.

Because heartworm disease is deadly to cats, routine screening and a monthly heartworm preventive are strongly advised. Continue…