The idea of your pet being infested with parasites is a disturbing thought, but it’s also a medical issue that can have serious consequences if not properly dealt with or prevented. Parasites pose a variety of health issues for our pets, who can be very susceptible to certain parasites depending on age, region, and other factors.

At South Saint Paul Animal Hospital, we emphasize the importance of preventing parasites. Through preventative measures, you can successfully protect your pet. But pets that are not protected often develop parasites, leading to serious problems for them and their owners.

The cost of prevention is minimal compared to the cost of treatment, which can be expensive and stressful on your pet. Parasites like heartworm can even be fatal, so preventing parasites is of the utmost importance.

Heartworm Recommendations and requirements.

– We require Annual Heartworm testing for Canine Patients before starting Preventative. This is due to two risks. 1) The risk of not treating an existing infestation. 2) Prevention may cause an allergic reaction with the offspring of the heartworm.
– Animals that test negative are recommended to take Heartworm preventative for 6-8 months-depending on the weather.
– Animals that are on Oral or topical Heartworm preventative year round are not required to be tested yearly. However, it is still recommended to test once a year because of possible lapses in treatment (Animals vomiting up a tablet, owners forgetting to give it on time etc….) additionally, if a break through was found, the disease could be treated appropriately.
– Animals on injectable Heartworm prevention are required to test annually if one injection is given per year. Animals that receive 2 injections per year, are not required to test, but recommended to test annually.

Intestinal Parasite Recommendations.

– We recommend that Canine and Feline patients perform fecal tests annually.
– Patients on heartworm Prevention year round should still be tested annually because there are additional intestinal parasites that heartworm preventatives will not prevent (Tapeworm, Coccidia, Giardia, Toxoplasma etc. )

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