Owning and caring for a family pet doesn’t have to be a difficult or burdensome
Prevention of infectious diseases is one of the most important steps you can take
to maintain your pet's health. Infectious diseases are caused by microscopic organisms
such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Animals can contract these diseases from other
animals, people, or the environment. If your pet's immune system does not prevent
an infection and it is left untreated, serious complications may occur including
death. Luckily, through research and scientific development, vaccines have been
developed to help protect animals against many diseases.
When vaccines are injected into the body they stimulate the immune system to produce
antibodies. Vaccines try to prepare the immune system to fight certain diseases.
While it is not possible to vaccinate for every possible infectious disease, vaccines
have been developed towards preventing the most common and serious ones. You will
read about the different diseases we vaccinate for and then we will tailor a vaccination
schedule specific to your pet.
Heartworms are parasites that inhabit the hearts and lungs of infected cats and
dogs. Vomiting is a common clinical sign in affected cats; unfortunately, sudden
death is another sign. There is no treatment for heartworm disease in cats but there
are several options for heartworm preventative. Affected dogs often have difficulty
breathing, cough, tire easily from exercise, and lose their appetite. Treatment
for heartworm disease in dogs is available but the best treatment is prevention.
There are several options for heartworm preventative.
Roundworms are a common parasite in puppies and kittens. Some puppies and kittens
are born with them. They are acquired from the mother or by ingesting contaminated
soil, feces, or prey. Roundworms live in the intestines and can cause vomiting,
diarrhea, and/or weight loss. Routine deworming is a safe and effective way to control
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Hookworms are a problem in warm, moist climates. Cats and dogs become infected by
ingestion of eggs from the ground or through skin contact with the eggs. They cause
diarrhea, weakness, and anemia as a result of intestinal bleeding. People can also
contract hookworms via skin contact. Treatment and prevention is safe and easy.
Tapeworms are acquired by eating uncooked meat and certain prey, ingesting rabbit
feces, and also by ingesting fleas. Infestation may be hard to detect until segments
of the tapeworm are found in fresh stool or around the anus. Appropriate deworming
medication along with flea control is paramount to clearing a tapeworm infection.
Fleas and Ticks
Both fleas and ticks are a problem in the southeastern United States. Ticks carry
diseases such as Lyme's disease and fleas can carry tapeworms in addition to causing
skin problems. There are several products available to treat and prevent flea and
Ear mites are little parasites that can cause ear infections.