Vet Blog

Prevention is Your Pet’s Best Defense!

January 25, 2024

As cold weather gives way to warmer days and thawing ground, it’s time to talk fleas, ticks…and yes, even heartworms! These pests flourish in our climate, and, contrary to popular opinion, they aren’t just annoying. They actually pose serious dangers to your pet’s health. And they can even harm humans in your household as well.

Did you know that fleas can transmit tapeworm and cause anemia? And ticks are well-known carriers of many harmful conditions, including Lyme disease. Some of these conditions, including typhus and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, can even be transferred to people.  Heartworm is another – and even graver – threat to animals.

Yes—your dog can get Heartworm in Colorado.

It’s a common misconception that, because of the dry climate and the resulting low population of mosquitos, we don’t need to worry about the parasite that is spread by these insects. But the truth is Fort Collins was one of the ten U.S. cities with the greatest increase of positive cases of Heartworm last winter.

Northern Colorado in the spring and summer is a breeding ground for mosquitos, which can transmit the deadly worms to pets through just one bite. Infected mosquitos deposit larvae inside your pet through the bite where they mature and travel to the heart, lungs and blood vessels of the infected animal. This is very serious for pets, as it can result in heart failure, lung disease and even death. Sadly, many animals don’t show symptoms until the disease is advanced, if at all. While there is treatment for canines, it is expensive and can be very hard on your pet. Currently, there is no heartworm treatment for cats.

At Garden Valley Veterinary Hospital, we understand that year-round prevention is the only guarantee your pet won’t suffer an uncomfortable – or even life-threatening – infestation. That’s why we carry many different types of flea, tick, and heartworm preventives at our hospital.

If you’re a dog parent, we strongly recommend you use oral preventative whenever possible. Products like Nexgard and Heartgard are more effective at preventing fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal parasites than cheap, over-the-counter topical preventatives. And chances are good your dog will even enjoy taking her medicine in this case, because Nexgard and Heartgard are both tasty chews made from real beef.

For cats, we recommend the monthly topical medication Revolution Plus, a six-in-one preventative that safeguards your kitty against not just fleas and ticks, but heartworms, ear mites, roundworms, and hookworms.

If you need to stock up on some preventative for your pet, we’re here to help. Simply give us a call at (970) 674-5105 and we’ll be happy to get you started with a supply of whatever best meets your best friend’s unique needs and lifestyle!