Parasite Problem Impacting Your Pets

The dog days of summer are here and so are man’s not so best friend – ticks and fleas.

However, veterinarians say the parasite problem is no longer seasonal.

“It’s turning year-round,” says Dr. Heidi Houghton from the Kimberly Crest Veterinary Hospital in Davenport. “When it’s below zero there’s less, but pets still go to dog parks in the winter and pets are more mobile than they used to be.”

As far as this year in particular, Dr. Houghton says the uptick of ticks were delayed because of a long, cold winter. However, she says she was surprised to find out that fleas were not impacted as much, so both parasites are at their peak at the same time right now.

Dr. Houghton says she likes to use Frontline Plus and also a new product from Nexcare, which is the preventative medicine in chew form.

As to how often to use them –

“Once a month is ideal,” Dr. Houghton says. “Ticks carry other diseases and that’s part of the problem. Besides, you just don’t want them in your house. They’re kind of creepy.”

Another health issue that has come up is the “dog flu.” ABC News reports that a rare outbreak was reported last month in Massachusetts, but Dr. Houghton says she is not worried about it and has not seen any cases around the Quad City area.

“It’s an influenza virus similar to what people would have as far as a flu,” she says. “I haven’t diagnosed a case.”

Dr. Houghton says if your dog is coughing or sneezing then it’s a good idea to get it checked out.

“Most likely, it’s some other respiratory issue.”

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