|Parasites and Preventatives
Heartgard Plus - Dog
Heartgard Plus is a once a month chewable tablet to prevent heartworm disease and to treat
and control roundworms and hookworms in dogs. It is safe for dogs and puppies 8 weeks
and older. The active ingredients are ivermectin and pyrantel. Make sure your dog chews
the tablet completely before swallowing.
Revolution - Dog and Cat
Revolution is a once a month topical that prevents heartworm disease, treats and controls
fleas, ear mites, scabies mites, and controls one species of ticks. It is safe for dogs and
puppies 6 weeks and older and cats/kittens over 8 weeks of age. Safe to use on pregnant
and nursing animals. The active ingredient is selamectin. Make sure you apply directly on
the skin where it cannot be licked off.
Sentinel - Dog
Sentinel is a once a month flavored tablet that prevents heartworm disease, controls fleas
and adult hookworms, and removes and controls adult roundworms and whipworms. It is safe
for dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older. Sentinel does not kill adult fleas but sterilizes the
female flea, preventing her from laying any viable eggs. The active ingredients are
milbemycin oxime and lufenuron. Make sure to give immediately after or in conjunction with a
Vectra 3D - Dog and Cat
Vectra 3D is a once a month topical that repels and kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and
mosquitoes. It is safe for dogs and puppies and cats/kittens 8 weeks and older. Vectra 3D is
waterproof, but do not bathe your dog within two days of application. The active ingredients
are Dinotefuran, Pyriproxyfen, and Permethrin. When applying, make sure you apply directly
on the skin where it cannot be licked off by another dog or cat as ingesting the product is
toxic to cats.
Comfortis - Dog
Comfortis is the first FDA-approved, chewable, beef-flavored tablet that kills fleas and
prevents flea infestations on dogs for a full month. It is a beef-flavored chewable tablet that
starts to kill fleas in 30 minutes and lasts a full month. Demonstrated safe for dogs and
puppies 14 weeks and older, 5lbs and up.
Fleas are the most common external parasite found on dogs. You will probably first notice
the effects of fleas when your dog repeatedly scratches and chews. Constant scratching
may lead to visible patches of hair loss and reddened, irritated skin. Fleas may also cause
skin allergies and can transmit other parasites, such as tapeworms, to your dog. We
recommend monthly preventatives such as Vectra, Comfortis, Revolution, or Sentinel year-
round. Treatment may require environmental treatment as well. Humans may get fleas from
infected dogs, but the fleas will generally live only on the dog.
Ticks themselves cause only mild irritation, but they can carry diseases that pose a serious
threat to animals and humans such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and
Ehrlichia. Illnesses transmitted by ticks can cause fever, anemia, paralysis, lameness, and
other symptoms. Ticks can be prevented by regular use of tick control products such as
Vectra or Revolution. People cannot catch Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or
Ehrlichia from infected dogs, but the same ticks that bite dogs can cause these illnesses and
others if they bite humans.
Demodex causes a skin disease often referred to as mange. The microscopic Demodex
mites live in the hair follicles and oil glands of your dog’s skin or at the skin surface. Many
animals have natural mite populations; however, most healthy animals are able to suppress
the populations from becoming problematic. Usually, animals that are going to be affected by
Demodex show signs of mange early in life. Occasionally, an animal will develop demodectic
mange as an adult; however, this usually means that the animal has another medical
condition that is compromising the immune system. Demodex mites create patches of hair
loss as a result of mild irritation and itching, usually starting on the muzzle and head and
progressing toward the rear. Diagnosis of Demodex mites is made through skin scrapings of
the affected areas. Localized infestations can easily be treated; Generalized infestations of
Demodex can be more challenging to treat. Demodex from dogs poses no risk to humans.
Also known as Sarcoptic Mange, scabies is a highly contagious skin mite. The mites burrow
into the skin and cause severe itching which can result in the formation of scabs and hair
loss that looks like skin allergies. Keeping your dog healthy and avoiding frequent contact
with dogs who might have scabies are the best way of keeping your dog safe. Skin scrapings
are needed to diagnose scabies and treatments are available if needed. Scabies can be
passed to people and causes intense itching, but usually clears up by itself when the pet is
Ear mites are tiny mites, barely visible to the human eye, that live on the surface of the ear
canal in dogs and cats. An infestation produces tiny black specks, similar to coffee grounds.
Ear mite infestation is usually detected by the pet scratching at an irritation in the ear. The
ear may become red and inflamed, and skin diseases may result from the ear mite
infestation. Pets get ear mites from infected dogs or cats. Ear mites are treatable with a
number of products and preventable when using Revolution. Ear mites are not generally
considered a risk to humans.
Cheyletiellosis, also called walking dandruff, is a highly contagious skin disease of cats, as
well as dogs and rabbits. Young cats, and those more frequently in direct contact with other
cats through boarding and shelters, are more susceptible. Scaling of the skin (excessive
dandruff) is the most common symptom. Infested cats also may exhibit unusual behavioral
changes, such as excessive grooming. Long-haired cats are common carriers of this
disease. Keep your cat away from cats that may carry it. People can be infected by these
mites from cats. Using Vectra will prevent these mites.
Lice are host-specific parasites meaning they do not tend to leave their preferred animal.
For example, dog lice tend to spend their entire life cycle on dogs. Transmission is by direct
contact with other infected dogs. The most noted sign of a louse infestation is a scruffy, dry
hair coat. Hair loss may occur and the animal may itch, at times severely. In very heavy
infestations dogs may become anemic, especially in puppies. Vectra is used as a monthly
preventative for lice.
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and, once mature, take residence in the heart
and large vessels of the lungs. Heartworm infection can affect many different organs of the
dog and cats such as heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver so symptoms may be varied. You may
suspect that an animal has been infected if an active animal tires easily or shows shortness
of breath or coughing; however, one or more tests may be necessary to determine whether
or not your dog or cat has heartworms. We recommend monthly preventatives such as
Heartgard, Iverhart, Revolution, or Sentinel year-round and yearly testing to ensure efficacy.
Heartworms are generally not considered a risk to humans.
Hookworms live in the digestive system of your dog and attach to the lining of the intestinal
wall and feeds on your dog’s blood. Eggs are ejected into the digestive tract and pass into
the environment through your dog’s feces. Larvae live in the soil and can infect your dog
through contact with and penetration of the skin and through eating the hookworm larvae.
Hookworms are a serious threat to dogs, especially young puppies. They can cause blood
loss, weight loss, diarrhea, or death. Keeping your dog's environment clean and keeping
your dog away from contaminated areas are the best steps for prevention. Monthly
heartworm preventatives such as Heartgard, Sentinel, or Iverhart include preventatives for
hookworms. Dogs and puppies should be examined regularly for hookworms and treated if
they are found. Humans can be infected by hookworm from dogs.
Roundworms are the most common of the parasitic worms found inside a dog. Almost all
dogs become infected with them at some time in their lives, usually as puppies. Roundworms
may be contracted in different ways including from their mother's milk, making them easy to
spread and hard to control. As a result, puppies should be treated when young. Dogs
should be examined regularly. Many dogs do not have signs of infection, but some,
especially puppies, may show weight loss, dull hair, and a potbellied appearance. The dog
may cough if the roundworms move into the lungs. You may notice the adult roundworms in
your dog's feces or vomit. They will appear white or light brown in color and may be several
inches long. Monthly heartworm preventatives such as Heartgard, Sentinel, Iverhart, or
Revolution include preventatives for roundworms. People can get roundworms from contact
with feces or contaminated soil. Children and pregnant women are especially at risk.
The whipworm is one of the four most common intestinal parasites of dogs. Dogs become
infected with whipworms by swallowing infective whipworm eggs in soil or other substances
that may contain dog feces. Dogs with mild whipworm infections may show no symptoms, but
whipworms can cause bloody diarrhea, and if not treated, lead to death. Keep your yard
clean of dog feces to protect your dog. Dogs and puppies should be examined regularly for
whipworms and treated if they are found. The heartworm preventative Sentinel prevents
Tapeworms are long, flat worms that attach themselves to your dog’s intestines. Dogs
become infected with tapeworms by eating an intermediate host infected with larva, most
commonly fleas or rodents. Tapeworm infections are usually diagnosed by finding segments
which appear as small white worms that may look like grains of rice or seeds usually on the
rear end of your dog or in your dog’s feces. Most tapeworms do not produce obvious
symptoms in dogs. Flea control is an important step in protecting your dog from tapeworms.
There is a simple treatment available for tapeworms. People are rarely affected by dog
Coccidia are tiny single-celled parasites that live in the wall of your dog’s intestine. They are
found more often in puppies, but they can also infect older dogs. Dogs become infected by
swallowing soil that contains coccidia or other substances in the environment that may
contain dog feces. Coccidia infection can cause diarrhea, and can be fatal, especially in
puppies. However, many dogs show no symptoms. Removing dog feces from your yard and
the dog's environment is the best protection. We can test, and treat if necessary, your dog
for coccidia. Puppies should be tested regularly.
Giardia is a single-celled parasite that lives in your dog’s intestine. It infects older dogs but
more frequently infects puppies. Dogs become infected when they swallow Giardia that may
be present in water or other substances that have been soiled with feces. Giardia in dogs
can cause diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, poor condition, or death. However, many infected
dogs show no symptoms. The best way to prevent an infection is to make sure that your dog
has safe, clean drinking water and also removing dog feces from your yard. We can test,
and treat if necessary, your dog for giardia. People can get giardia, causing diarrhea or
other problems, but rarely from dogs.