Accessibility View Close toolbar

Parasite Control

Parasite Control Recommendations

Protecting your pet from harmful parasites also prevents disease from being transmitted to you and your
family. By following these simple guidelines, your pets can be free of parasites and the chance of you
becoming infected greatly reduced.

Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the best parasite control plan for your pets and lifestyle.

For specific parasite information, prevalence maps and treatment/prevention recommendations visit:


Fleas and Ticks

The safest control involves year-round protection. Newer options such as the 3 month Bravecto pill (given 4 times yearly, at the start of each season) and 8 month seresto collar make this much easier. Monthly topicals such as Advantix should at least be continued until a thorough snowfall with good ground freeze.

Treatment may need to be continued into winter if fleas were present in the fall as they can harbor in the warmth of your home.

Be cautious about wooded areas. Some ticks may linger in the middle of winter on plants that are high enough off the ground. Some dogs going in areas with more winter vegetation, such as when hunting, may need protection year round.

Internal Parasites
Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, heartworms

Heartworm preventative (such as Iverheart Max, Trifexis, Sentinel, etc.) helps to prevent both heartworms and intestinal parasites. If there is a persistent intestinal parasite issue in your area, talk to your vet about which option would be best for you to use year round.

The American Heartworm Society now recommends all areas use year-round protection against heartworms. This is based on the fluctuations in weather patterns causing unreliable mosquito behavior, as well as the back-kill effect of the medication. Because a treatment in December kills parasites acquired months prior, it is best to continue treatment year round, even if mosquitoes are not seen.

Preventative testing

HWLEA test: An annual or biannual in-hospital blood test is recommended that will check for Lyme, heartworm, ehrlichia, and anaplasmosis. We test for tick diseases that are increasingly prevalent in our area as well as heartworm so we can safely give preventative without complications and know if treatment needs to be initiated.

Fecal test: We recommend fecal exams on all puppies and new dogs. Also, routine testing is done annually or more frequently if your dog is higher risk. The eggs shed by worms, as well as non worm intestinal parasites, are microscopic so samples will be examined by a lab technician. A sample is often recommended despite routine deworming as well, as there are non worm parasites that can infect your pet.


Fleas and ticks

Advantage multi (monthly topical): treats/prevents fleas, ear mites, intestinal parasites, heartworm

Seresto collar (8 month collar): treats/prevents fleas and ticks

Advantage (monthly topical): treats fleas only

Comfortis (monthly pill): treats fleas only

Provide flea treatment year round or at least until there is a good snow cover and ground freeze.

Treatment may need to be continued into winter if fleas were present in the fall as they can harbor in the warmth of your home.

Cats are not as susceptible to the more common tick diseases such as lyme as dogs and humans are. Despite that, if your cat carries ticks home it puts your family and dog at risk of exposure. If ticks seem to be a problem on your cat we recommend discuss the option of a seresto collar with your vet.

Internal Parasites

(roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, heartworms)

Drontal or topical Profender are recommended as routine dewormers up 2-4 times a year for outdoor cats. As some parasites are not worms we do recommend a fecal sample if feasible.

Routine annual fecal exams are recommended for indoor cats as they can pick up parasites from potting soil, other pets, insects, rodents, or dirt tracked in by visitors.

In addition to deworming, a fecal sample is recommended for kittens or new cats to test for various intestinal parasites.

Heartworm is believed to be less common but is more deadly in cats than in dogs. They contract heartworm from mosquitoes so if you are in an area with heavy mosquito population we recommend using Advantage Multi. This product protects against fleas, intestinal parasites as well as heartworms.

Parasites and People

Owning a pet can be a wonderful, rewarding experience for you and your family. However, pets can transmit diseases that may be harmful to humans – especially young children and people with certain medical conditions. These are called zoonotic diseases. You can reduce the risk of parasitic infection to your family by eliminating parasites from pets; restricting access to contaminated areas, such as sandboxes, pet “walk areas”, and other high-traffic areas; and practicing good personal hygiene. Disposing of pet feces on a regular basis can help remove potentially infective worm eggs before they become distributed in the environment and are picked up or ingested by pets or humans.