Does my pet really need parasite prevention in the winter months?
Dogs and cats need parasite prevention all year long, even if they spend all of their time indoors. Yes, the infection rate decreases in cold weather, but the outdoor parasites tend to move inside during winter months. Something else to think about is that the cost of prevention is far less than the cost of treating for these parasites.
Fleas and ticks can survive inhospitable conditions, including very cost weather. They will manage to find their way into homes or crawl spaces that are sheltered from winter elements. So, the saying that “fleas and ticks will go away when we have cold weather” is not true. Living in the warm to hot Texas climate is ideal for parasites all year long. Fleas and ticks can hitch a ride on our pants leg and transfer to our pets once they get in the house. Mosquitoes can sneak inside open doors and windows to transmit heartworm disease. Hookworms, roundworms and whipworms can be transmitted through feces from an infected animal. So, even if dogs stay inside most of the time, there is time for exposure when they go outdoors for bathroom breaks and walks.
Even though today’s preventive medications are highly effective, nothing is 100% effective. That is why at Manchaca Road Animal Hospital we like to test for intestinal worms and heartworms once a year. Routine testing allows you to catch an early infection of parasites before your pet becomes ill. Even our best intentioned pet owners occasionally forget to administer a dose of preventative or don’t realize that their pet didn’t actually swallow the pill.
Contact Manchaca Road Animal Hospital if you have any questions, or if your pet won’t take its monthly preventative medications.