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9/26/18: Information from the FDA is available here regarding safety of oral flea and tick control in dogs.
10/13/18: Click here to read about how to keep your pets safe for Halloween!
Parasites & Prevention
- Knapp Veterinary Hospital - Columbus, Ohio
Annual Heartworm/Tick Disease & Fecal Screenings
Heartworm disease (transmitted by mosquitoes) has always been a concern, but tick borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, are now making their way into Ohio. It is important that we test for these as well as Heartworm disease. We can screen for Heartworm and tick borne diseases with one blood sample.
Intestinal parasites are a common concern year-round. No matter how careful you are about where your pet goes outside, it is possible that your pet may accidentally pick up parasites from the environment. For instance, someone else may clean up after their pet, but there is enough non-visible stool left that has parasite eggs on it. Your dog may then step in this area, ingest the eggs while cleaning its foot, and become infected. This is why we should screen your pet's fecal sample yearly.
Heartworm, Flea, Tick, & Intestinal Parasite Prevention
We recommend year-round protection in Ohio because our weather is so unpredictable. The weather is greatly varied from year to year and, at times, even day to day. For example, there have been days in February with temperatures of 60 degrees, while the previous year produced a level 2 snow emergency. On another note, it could be 60 in the morning and the temperature falls to 30 by evening - or vice versa. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are active outside during most of the year in Ohio because it takes very specific weather conditions to remove them from the environment for the winter months.
Most heartworm/flea prevention also treats for the most common intestinal parasites (roundworms, hookworms and whipworms) which are year-round threats. Tapeworms are also common, but are generally only treated as needed.
We carry a variety of heartworm, flea, tick, and intestinal parasite preventatives at our hospital. If you like, we can also write a prescription for an outside veterinary pharmacy. We will help you find the correct preventative combination for you and your pet.
 If a test result is positive, then further testing and/or treatment may be necessary.