As spring returns, so are the creepies and crawlies. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos are the most common pests that affect pets and can have serious impacts on your pet’s long-term health. Luckily, there are many ways to protect your pet and keep them pest-free. 

Here are a few reasons why these preventative measures matter. 

Disease Prevention 

Many pet owners think of pests such as fleas and mosquitos as a simple nuisance. However, many spring creepy crawlies can spread disease and have severe impacts on your pet’s long-term health. 

One of the most concerning diseases your pet could encounter is heartworm disease. This condition is spread by mosquitoes and affects your pet’s heart and lungs. Heartworm disease is most commonly seen in dogs. However, it can also affect cats. 

If your pet spends any amount of time outside, it’s essential to ensure your pet is on heartworm prevention. While mosquitos are less of a problem during our cold winter months, the American Heartworm Society recommends pets receive yearlong heartworm prevention. 

Unfortunately, mosquitos aren’t the only pests that can spread disease. Fleas and ticks can transmit a bacterial disease known as Bartonella. Ticks can also spread many other diseases, including Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Anaplasmosis. 

As the weather warms and the creepy crawlies reemerge, it’s critical to understand your pet’s risk and ensure they are adequately protected. 

Getting Rid of Pests Can be Difficult 

Not only can spring pests affect your pet’s health, but they can also be very difficult to get rid of. 

Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment for cats with heartworms. In dogs, heartworm treatment is expensive, and it can take 4 to 8 weeks before your pup can return to normal activity. Even if your dog’s treatment is successful, the parasites can cause significant damage that may affect your pet for years to come.

Fleas are another creepy-crawly that are particularly hard to get rid of. While adult fleas are the most likely to cause your pet to itch, fleas have four stages in their lifecycle. Adult fleas can lay thousands of eggs which can infect your home. Different flea treatments affect different stages of the flea life cycle. Even if you are able to eliminate the adult fleas on your pet, your furry friend can become reinfected as the fleas hiding in your home mature. 

Because of this, making sure your home is flea free will require some serious cleaning. This includes deep cleaning of all of your pet’s bedding and toys, as well as a thorough cleaning of all floors and furniture in your home. Unfortunately, severe flea infestations can take several months before they are fully cleared. 

Luckily, prevention is a great way to keep your pets and your home pest-free. Not only will prevention keep your pet healthier, but it can also help you avoid a serious cleaning nightmare. 

Give Us a Call!

With spring approaching, it’s essential to stay on top of your pet’s preventative medications. Make sure you are giving them regularly, and your pet is fully protected. If you have questions about which preventatives your pet should be on, our team at Minnesota Veterinary Hospital is happy to help. Please give us a call at 651-484-3331. 

We look forward to hearing from you and helping your pet kick off a healthy start to spring.  

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