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Heartworm and Flea Prevention for Dogs


Heartworm and Flea Prevention are Different

Although perhaps not the most serious of ailments, fleas are quite common and can be a nuisance.  A nuisance not only for the affected dog, but for those who spend any deal of time with the dog – especially those who live in the same house. Heartworm lies on the opposite end of the spectrum; while it might not be overly common or noticeable to a dog’s owner, the heartworm is a very serious parasite. Instead of treating these ailments once your dog is sick, you should practice heartworm and flea prevention for dogs.  This way, prevent heartworms before it even starts.

Many mosquitos carry heartworms.  The mosquito delivers the heart worm parasite to your dog intravenously.  Heartworm was discovered in the mid 1800’s and has since been studied extensively to provide options to pet owners. Fleas, on the other hand, seem to have been around nearly as long as time itself. In fact, scientists have recently discovered fossils of giant fleas! Fleas occur in nature and often go unnoticed. You yourself may have even come in contact with a flea at some point or another.

Heartworm Prevention

When it comes to heartworm prevention, you have two options – you may prevent the parasite from ever entering your dog’s bloodstream, or you can prevent it from “taking hold” of your pet after it has entered the bloodstream, thus quelling the issue before it causes any problems.

The former option requires you go to your vet and give your dog heartworm-prevention drugs on up to a monthly basis.  The latter requires your dog go in for a blood heartworm tests during heartworm season. If you know your dog isn’t great with blood work, you may want to opt for the monthly drug administration. On the other hand, if you’d prefer not to give your dog drugs, the blood tests may be the better of the two options. The appropriate course of action will ultimately be up to you to decide.

Flea Prevention

Flea prevention, as it turns out, is a much easier ordeal. Once again, you have a variety of options at your disposal.  The most popular of these options are flea collars and flea ointments. Although the collars are less messy, these are typically not the veterinarians’ first choice. On the other hand, the ointments are often recommended by professionals, though may leave a sticky residue on a small portion of your dog. Once again, only the pet owner knows which of these two options is best, as it will vary on a case-by-case basis and all comes down to personal preference.

Heartworm Cure