At Belle Mead Animal Hospital, we recognize that your pets are a part of your family. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your pet’s health as well as the health of your human family members is to keep them free of parasites with year-round preventive care.
Contagious diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans are called zoonotic diseases. These diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. One example includes roundworms, which are the most common parasite affecting children, cats and dogs not only in New Jersey, but across the country and around the world. Humans can accidentally ingest infective worm eggs passed through the pet’s feces and left in the environment. The eggs can then hatch in the human intestinal tract, and the immature worms can travel to various tissues in the body such as the eyes and lungs. The end result is serious infection.
Vector-borne diseases are transmitted by fleas or ticks, as well as other ectoparasites that infest dogs and cats. Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are serious tick-borne diseases that affect both pets and people. Protecting your pet from fleas and ticks can significantly reduce the risk for human exposure to these parasites.
Keeping your pets on preventive medication year round is not only the best way to protect them from parasite infections, it also is the best way to protect your human family members.
We recommend Revolution as our first choice for prevention in cats. It is FDA approved and therefore the absolute safest product on the market, even if accidentally ingested. Revolution actually protects cats against fleas, ticks, Heartworm and roundworms. Frontline Plus (fipronill) is another popular product for fleas and ticks, but it does not protect cats against Heartworm or roundworms.
The best roundworm prevention in dogs is yearly, or better yet, semiannual fecals, a monthly Heartworm prevention, and a safe annual prophylactic deworming recommended by their veterinarian. Please talk to us or your own veterinarian about roundworm prevention for your dog as soon as possible, if you have not done so already.
In addition, stink bugs, cockroaches, potting soil and mice are also chronic sources of roundworms that continually get into our homes and expose our indoor pets. By using preventives, we protect our indoor and outdoor pets from infecting our children and babies. Think about if your cat or dog has a fecal accident in the house unbeknown to an adult. Perhaps the child accidentally touches it or the affected area, and then the child wipes their mouth or doesn’t immediately wash their hands. They may ingest microscopic eggs that are invisible to the naked eye that later cause disease. If we are preventatively using safe products on a regular basis, we protect our pets and ultimately our families.
All our veterinarians at Belle Mead Animal Hospital are highly educated on parasitic infections and prevention. We are ready to answer your questions and prescribe the most effective year-round preventive medication available.
Dr. Joe Martins, DVM, Belle Mead Animal Hospital