Parasite Prevention: What Works?

Parasite infestations are not only a hassle for you but can also create serious health problems in your dog or cat. At Guthrie Pet Hospital, we believe the best way to protect your pet and your family is to understand which products best suit your individual needs.

Flea and Tick Products

Flea and tick products generally fall into one of two categories: neurotoxic insecticides or insect growth regulators (IGR). Neurotoxic insecticides target adult fleas and ticks and work by paralyzing the insects before neutralizing them. IGRs target parasites in the early stages of life by preventing the growth of eggs into larvae.

Heartworm Products

Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal condition caused by foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs, and related blood vessels. While dogs are more prone to heartworm infestations than cats, there is an effective treatment regimen for dogs. However, the same medication cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only way to fully protect them against the disease.

We generally recommend having your pet tested annually since early detection efforts are the best defense against an infection. Approved treatments work by targeting parasites in their larval stages of growth and eliminating them before they can mature.

It’s extremely important that heartworm medication be administered on schedule. If given too late, larvae may have time to develop into adults, at which point preventive treatments are no longer effective.

Intestinal Parasites

A number of heartworm preventives are also effective against certain intestinal parasites. Depending on the product, this may include protection against hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, or tapeworms. However, no single treatment can eliminate every parasite, and we recommend you contact us to determine which product is appropriate for your pet.

Which Product Is the Best?

For every pet, the best product is the one that accounts for his or her lifestyle and addresses parasites common to where you live. The team at Guthrie Pet Hospital is equipped to discuss the pros and cons of any treatment, and we’re proud to offer competitive values on flea, tick, and heartworm products (available through our online store or pharmacy).