Dogs and cats need parasite prevention all year round in the Midwest. Unfortunately, parasite preventatives do not prevent all parasites, but they do help to prevent many common internal parasites (such as heartworms, round worms, hookworms, and whipworms) and external parasites (such as fleas and ticks).
There are many different forms of parasite preventatives. Not all preventatives work the same and not all preventatives protect against the same parasites. There are many preventatives available over the counter, but many of these are minimally effective and some are potentially deadly to pets. Make sure to always read the labels, and consult with your veterinarian if you have questions.
One way to ensure it is the correct preventative is to actually order it from your veterinarian. Parasite preventatives that you purchase from your veterinarian are backed by both the manufacturer and your veterinarian.
What makes parasites a challenge is that many different types of parasites develop resistance to chemicals over time due to the process of natural selection. Parasites that survive the chemical and are able to reproduce pass those resistance genes on to their offspring. Each generation becomes more and more resistant to the chemical until it no longer works. In this case, the chemical either becomes obsolete or the manufacturer adds additional chemicals to the product to try to kill the resistant parasites.
We recommend parasite prevention that we have not seen this resistance with and that we have seen is safe to use in pets. Please call SouthPaw Animal Clinic if you are in need of parasite prevention or if you have any questions concerning these products.
*Important Note: Do not ever use a parasite preventative labeled for dogs on a cat. Do not ever use a parasite preventative labeled for a larger animal on a smaller animal. This could kill your pet!