An Ounce of Parasite Prevention

By Reagan Lee, VOA

Last year’s Tick season began in March due to mild temperatures and minimal snow cover.   The bad news is that this year we’ve had less snow fall and warm temperature spikes starting off the season in March again. By the way, tick season is how we surly know summer is coming.  The good news is there are medications you can get from your veterinarian to prevent your dogs and cats from getting infested with ticks and bringing them into your home.

Everyone is concerned with ticks, and rightly so, but I personally find the parasites that I cannot see much worse. Don’t get me wrong. Pulling dozens of ticks off my dog and one off my cat was close to the worse experience ever.

During the spring thaw, feces and other matter will be exposed once again and even if your dog or cat doesn’t eat that kind of thing, they may accidentally step in it and track it back to your home or groom it off of themselves later.  Eggs from some parasites live quite well out in the environment.

In the spring we see a lot of puppies. This is a huge perk to our work environment but these puppies often have roundworm infestations. Puppies are exposed to the roundworm larvae before they are born or in their mother’s milk, if she is infected. Those cute little bloated puppy bellies aren’t so cute once you know these things.

I also worry about whipworm and hookworm infections in my furbabies. We humans walk around in shoes that protect us from these parasites but our pets don’t usually wear footwear in the warmer months. These guys are not as common as roundworms, but they are present in our province.

Some of these internal parasites are contagious to us humans (called zoonotic) so the old saying about an ounce of prevention really strikes a chord. Deworming according to your veterinarians direction is a simple and inexpensive way to help everyone in your household stay healthy and happy.