Parasite Prevention & Testing

Save your pet from unwanted friends: fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites. We will recommend a preventive regimen for your pet based on your individual lifestyle and risk factors.

Flea and Tick Preventives

Fleas and ticks are small insects that are parasitic; they feed on blood from animals and/or people. Fleas and ticks can be picked up anywhere, including dog parks, on trails, or anywhere an infected dog has been. The soft, warm fur of dogs and cats provides the perfect environment for fleas and ticks. These insects feed on your pet’s blood and can cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to serious vector-borne illnesses.

Flea and tick prevention consists of a variety of products used to control flea and/or tick infestations on your pet and to prevent infestations inside your home. Our veterinary care team will come up with a flea and tick prevention plan that works for your pet and your lifestyle.

Fleas and ticks can cause two major problems. One, they can cause discomfort and skin irritation through their bites, and in some cases can cause severe allergic reactions in both pets and people. Two, they both can carry diseases and can cause illness both in pets and people. Some of these diseases can be deadly and others can cause severe, chronic, and lifelong illness. Prevention is key to avoid these problems.

The major vector borne diseases that fleas, ticks and mosquitos can carry include:

  • Heartworms: Heartworms are transmitted through an inflected mosquito. Adult heartworms cause disease by clogging the heart and major blood vessels leading from the heart and interfere with the function of valves within the heart. By clogging the main blood vessels, the blood supply to other organs of the body is reduced. Heartworms can be deadly. We offer annual testing and treatment to ensure earlier detection and appropriate treatment.
  • Lyme disease: Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints or kidneys.
  • Ehrlichia: Ehelichia is a bacterium carried by ticks. Once in the hosts body it will infect and live within white blood cells causing a wide range of symptoms such as: anemia, bleeding episodes, lameness, eye problems, neurological problems, and swollen limbs.
  • Anaplasma: Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease causing lameness, joint pain, fever, lethargy, and anorexia (lack of appetite).

Heartworm Testing 

It usually takes several years before dogs show clinical signs of infection. Unfortunately, by the time clinical signs are seen, the disease is usually well advanced. Symptoms of a heartworm infestation include loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, coughing, weight loss and a bloated stomach. Untreated heartworms can lead to cardiovascular failure and death. Early detection improves patient prognosis and reinforces the importance of tick control.

Prevention is the best medicine. Our doctors at TDVG offer a wide selection of heartworm preventives that will suit your lifestyle.

In most cases, one simple in-house blood tests will diagnose heartworm disease. Further diagnostic tests are often required in heartworm-positive dogs to determine if the dog can safely undergo heartworm disease treatment.

The treatment of heartworm disease is dependent on the progression of the disease. Our veterinary care team is experience in heartworm disease treatment and will create a heartworm treatment plan that works for you and your pet.

Gastrointestinal Parasite Testing

A fecal examination for intestinal parasites is an important part of a regular checkup.

Some dogs and cats infected with these common intestinal parasites may be asymptomatic, but others may develop a variety of gastrointestinal signs that depend on the parasite and age of the patient. Symptoms may range from mild diarrhea, vomiting to severe bloody diarrhea, anemia and occasionally death.

For more information about parasite prevention and control, check out our pet health library!

Please call our offices at 1(866)209-1001 for assistance in creating your individualized parasite treatment and prevention pet care plan.