Fleas. Ticks. Roundworm, heartworm, and tapeworm. Our animals are a walking buffet to them, and once they’re on your dog or cat, it’s a short ride on the pet express to your home and family. Many of these parasites and the diseases they carry are zoonotic—meaning they can be transmitted to humans.
While we always recommend year-round parasite protection for pets, it’s especially important in the warmer months when these pests are more active. Need some incentive to invest in parasite prevention? How about this:
- A flea can lay up to 1500 eggs in its lifetime, and one flea can become 1000 on your pet and in your home in just 21 days.
- Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes and has been diagnosed in all 50 states. The average length of a mature heartworm in a dog is 10 inches and treatment is expensive and hard on your pet.
- At least 70 people in the U.S. (most of them children) are blinded by toxocariasis, which is transmitted to humans through dog and cat feces infected with roundworm.
- Fleas can infect pets with tapeworm, which looks like little moving pieces of rice around your pet’s anus and are immediately infectious to humans. The largest parasite ever extracted from a human was reportedly a tapeworm that was 37 FEET long.
- A female hookworm produces 20,000 eggs per DAY, and they are the only worms known to have teeth. It’s estimated that 1/6th of the world’s human population is infected with hookworm.
- Ticks prefer to insert their feeding tubes into warm, moist areas, like behind ears and in armpits. Their saliva can transmit multiple illnesses to pets and humans with a single bite.
Parasite prevention is always much more effective and less expensive than treatment. Your Gulf Coast veterinarian will be happy to help you choose the preventive medication that’s right for your pet and your budget.
We can also answer your questions and provide you with more icky facts about parasites if you’re not convinced—just give us a call at (813) 314-7046 any time during our regular business hours.