Flea, Tick & Heartworm Prevention: Keeping Portland’s Pets Safe From Parasites

Flea, Tick & Heartworm Prevention at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital

When it comes to pets and parasites, most people immediately think of fleas. Even though they are quite small, it’s usually fairly obvious when a pet has them. Unfortunately, there are many other parasites lurking in your pet’s environment that aren’t as easily detected, such as worms. What’s worse, they can be transmitted to humans. That’s why, when you bring your pet to see us, our veterinarians will conduct a comprehensive fecal test and discuss how you can protect your pet and your family from potential parasites.

Fleas

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) , pets suffering from flea allergies account for more than 50% of veterinary dermatological cases. In addition to causing pets severe discomfort, fleas can also transmit parasites and diseases, including tapeworms and Bartonella—which causes "cat scratch disease" in humans.

Thankfully, there are many flea treatments available to help protect your pet and your home. Our veterinarians will be happy to discuss which product will best suit your pet’s needs.

Ticks

While ticks are not currently a serious threat in Portland, they are prevalent in many other parts of Oregon. They, like mosquitoes, can transmit a number of diseases that are dangerous to humans. If you travel with your pet, our veterinarians will advise you regarding the appropriate preventive measures. One of the most commonly used flea products we recommend also provides protection from ticks.

Intestinal Parasites

Portland is an extremely animal-friendly city, which is just one of the reasons why it’s such an enjoyable place to live. However, with all of the cats, dogs, and wildlife in the area, there’s a higher incidence of parasites in our environment. What’s worse, our moist and moderate climate ensures that they survive year-round.

Giardia is the most common intestinal parasite we encounter. It’s spread to pets and humans through contaminated animal waste and water.

We also have roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, all of which are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted to humans. Immature roundworms can move throughout a person’s body, even ending up in the eyes or brain, causing serious damage. Thankfully, there are two simple steps you can take to protect your pet and the rest of your family from all of these parasites.

Veterinary Solutions

Each time your pet has a wellness exam, we will send his or her fecal sample out to a commercial laboratory where a dedicated specialist will review it. These professionals examine hundreds of samples each day, enabling them to see signs that less experienced eyes would likely miss. In addition, they conduct chemical tests to ensure that non-visible cues are also detected. Should any parasites be found, we will provide your pet with the medications needed to eradicate them.

Our veterinarians also recommend that pets be given a heartworm preventive each month. Heartworms are endemic in Southern Oregon, so pets that travel will already require this medication. The reason we suggest it for all pets is that it contains dewormers that protect your pet from the intestinal parasites commonly found in our environment.

We will be happy to discuss which heartworm preventive is right for your pet. Our pet pharmacy has them on hand for your convenience.