Parasite Prevention FAQs
Here at the Animal Medical Center, serving Midlothian, Richmond, and surrounding Virginia communities, our Midlothian veterinarian team feels strongly about maintaining regular parasite control to help your animal avoid the stressful, painful, or even life-threatening complications associated with a parasite infestation.
Read on to learn more about why this service is so crucial.
What Parasites should my Dog or Cat be Protected Against?
There are several types and sources of parasites in our communities, and while they can't necessarily be avoided, many can be protected against with routine medication. The following are the main parasites your cat or dog should be protected against, since they may come in contact with them when about and about in your area (or even your home):
- Heartworms (which are transmitted via mosquitos and grow in the blood vessels of the hearts and lungs)
- Tapeworms (which are transmitted via fleas and grow in the intestines)
- Fleas (which can transmit tapeworm, Bartonella, aka "cat scratch disease," among other diseases or skin issues)
- Ticks (which can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other diseases)
The above-mentioned parasites are like little freeloaders that leech nutrients and vitality from your pet. They can lead to health complications ranging from mild to severe, including itchiness, skin infections (hot spots), lethargy, anemia, pain, malnutrition, respiratory problems, and even organ failure or death.
Why Should my Pet be Tested for Parasites?
If your animal becomes infected with a parasite, there may not be any obvious signs or symptoms for a long time. Sadly, when symptoms do develop, it's often at the point when the infestation has already become severe or even life-threatening.
Routine testing and consistent prevention are essential for this reason so that your cat's or dog's risk of falling ill will be extremely low. Depending on the type of parasite we're looking for, our examination techniques may include visual inspection and history taking, blood tests, and fecal tests. We'll be sure to let you know about anything we may need from you in order to prepare your pet for its visit with our team.