Lincoln Land Animal Clinic, Ltd

1150 Tendick
Jacksonville, IL 62650

(217)245-9508

www.lincolnlandac.com

PARASITE PREVENTION 


Parasitic infections can be devastating to the health of your pet. We offer in-house heartworm testing and fecal parasite analysis to help keep your four-legged family member healthy! When it comes to parasites, prevention is the best medicine. We offer a variety of preventative medications to protect your pet against heartworms, intestinal worms, fleas, and ticks. 

We recommend an annual heartworm test (small blood sample is needed) and once a month heartworm prevention (oral medication) to prevent heartworm disease. The monthly heartworm prevention also protects your pet against many of the more common intestinal parasites. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of parasite prevention. 


Heartworm Disease & Prevention

Heart with heartworms at Lincoln Land Animal Clinic, ltd. Jacksonville, IL 62650

What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart.

How do pets get heartworms?

Pets get heartworms from the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquito bites the unsuspecting pet and deposits the larvae into the animal.  The larvae migrates to the heart where it matures.  The adult heartworms then reproduce and their offspring (microfilaria) will be ingested the next time a mosquito feeds on the pet, starting the cycle all over again.

Is my pet really at risk?

Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes.  All pets are at risk, regardless of their lifestyle; both indoor and outdoor pets can get heartworm disease. 

According to the latest American Heartworm Society survey the incidence of heartworms has been increasing. Between 2013 and 2016 the number of infected dogs per clinic increased by 21 percent in the U.S. and its territories. Illinois veterinary clinics (in 2016) reported at least 6-25 cases per clinic, with even higher numbers in Southern Illinois (51-99 cases per clinic). 

Do heartworms cause damage to my pet?

The adult worm lives inside the heart and can cause damage to the blood vessels and valves.  Unfortunately there is no test to determine how many heartworms your pet may have.  In order to determine the extent of the damage radiographs ( also called x-rays) of your pet's chest can be performed to see if the heart  and the blood vessels to the lungs are enlarged. We also recommend full blood work to see what damage or pathology may be present in the other organs within the body.

My pet has been on heartworm preventative but still came up positive on the test.  Now what?

The companies that manufacture these products offer various guarantees for certain diagnostics, treatments, and future prevention.  Please contact our office for more information.

Treatment for heartworm disease

We treat each pet differently depending on their condition, history, prior testing, monthly preventative status and current recommendations by the Heartworm Society and board certified veterinary cardiologists.

Where do the adulticide injections go and what to expect post treatment?

A small area on your pet’s back will be shaved and cleaned. This is where the injection will be administered. The injection is placed deep within the back muscles on either side of the spine. After the injection(s), your pet may be sore, swollen and/or the skin may be discolored. There will be additional medication sent home after each treatment to help with swelling and minimize any adverse reactions to the dying heartworms. Your pet will need to continue monthly heartworm prevention for the rest of its life.

It is very important to keep your pet as quiet as possible during the treatment.  The heartworms reside within the heart; as they die during treatment they are "pumped" into the lungs. The dog's immune system then cleans up the dead worms. Allowing your dog to exercise while their body is trying to dispose of the worms puts a tremendous amount of stress on both the heart and the lungs. 
We recommend that your pet is leash walked, that means no running off leash or in a fenced in yard, during and one month after treatment.  Your pet must continue on the heartworm medication monthly and be re-tested 5-6 months after treatment is completed.


Intestinal Parasites

Tapeworms at Lincoln Land Animal Clinic, Ltd. Jacksonville, IL 62650. 217-245-9508

Did you know that many parasites eggs can remain in the environment for decades?    

These parasites may cause changes in your pet's stool, vomiting, dull haircoat, and/or weight loss.  If left untreated, they can lead to further health problems.  Some intestinal parasites also pose a zoonotic threat which means they can be passed from pets to humans.  This risk is highest for children and immunocompromised adults.

Some of the parasites may be visible in your pet's stool.

Roundworms are frequently seen in puppies and kittens. These worms when passed look like spaghetti! Roundworms give your puppy that "puppy breath" as well as pot bellies.


Tapeworms are also seen in the stool. They look like fettuccini when they are whole, like rice when they are passed in individual segments, and can also look like dried pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds stuck to your pets hair coat around their anus. Dogs and cats typically get tapeworms from eating fleas (dead or alive) or rodents.

However, most parasites are not clearly visible and must be identified by microscopic examination of a stool sample. 

Lincoln Land Animal Clinic promotes parasite prevention and awareness.  To help keep your pets healthy and free of parasites please collect a fresh stool specimen from your pet and bring it to the clinic for microscopic examination.  You can place the specimen in a baggie, plastic dish, etc.  The best results will be obtained when the stool sample is fresh.  We will notify you of the results and any medications or actions that may be necessary.   

Several of these parasites can be prevented or controlled with monthly heartworm prevention and flea and tick control.  Please contact us if you have any questions about your pet's health! 


Flea Control

First, let's debunk some common misconceptions and learn the flea facts:

Misconception    

  Fact

Indoor cats don't get fleas.

You can bring "hitch-hiker" fleas into your home causing an infestation.  These hitch-hikers come from neighbors' untreated pets, and feral or wild animals crossing through your yard dropping eggs.

 

If you have fleas, you must be dirty.

A flea infestation does not imply a dirty home.  Any home with untreated pets will experience a flea infestation; it is only a matter of time. 

 

If you see fleas on your treated pet, the product must not be working.

The products we carry are guaranteed, however, it can take up to 12 hours for existing fleas to die. 
Please note: at this point in time there is no such thing as a "force field" or "shield" that will prevent fleas from jumping on your pet. 

 

One flea treatment is enough to get rid of the infestation.

Live fleas are only 5% of the total infestation.  Each female flea can lay several eggs each day and it can take 3-8 weeks (sometimes even longer) for the eggs to mature.  Read below to find our recommendations for successful flea control.

 

Once the infestation is under control you can stop using flea prevention.

As discussed above, flea infestations begin in the yard, at the park, with the neighbor's pet, or with hitch-hiker fleas.  If  you stop treating your pet, there is a high likelihood you will see a re-infestation. 

 

 


To understand causes and control of an infestation, take a look at the Flea Life Cycle

  • Female fleas lay 40-50 eggs per day.
  • 1-10 days later the eggs hatch into larvae.
  • 5-11 days later the larvae mature into pupae.
  • 7-174 days later the pupae emerge as adult fleas.
  • What does all this mean to you?  When you have 100% stopped the production of new flea eggs, it can take 6.5 months to eradicate the flea infestation from your home. 
  •  At the most, it takes up to 8 weeks to control fleas on your pet; however, new fleas may emerge from your home environment for up to  6.5 months.


Our recommendations for integrated flea control:

  • Treat every pet according to our product recommendations.
  • In the house it is very important to vacuum at least weekly. Fleas love to live in damp, dark places and carpeting. Make sure you move your furniture and vacuum under there as well.The vibrations from the vacuum will help to stimulate fleas to hatch. You want to make sure you dispose of your vacuum cleaner bag outdoors as the fleas can hatch in your vacuum and be redistributed through your house.
  • Wet mop hard surfaces such as linoleum and hard wood weekly to pick up the eggs.
  • Wash all bedding, including yours (if the pet sleeps in bed with you) in hot water at least weekly.
  • Use an insect growth regulator (IGR) premise spray under couches and furniture that you do not want to move regularly to vacuum under.  Unlike other home treatment products, one with IGR can target multiple life stages of the flea for maximum control.


Reasons you may still see fleas after applying our recommended products:

  • It takes about 12 hours for many products to work on existing fleas.
  • New fleas may jump from the environment (indoor or outdoor) onto your pet.
  • All pets that share common areas with your pet must be treated or they will continue to carry fleas and re-introduce them to the common areas.
  • Topical products must be applied directly to the skin (not on top of the fur), as they are distributed through the fatty layer of the skin. Oral tablets must be fully digested. 

  • Regarding topical products, you must allow at least 24 hours after a bath prior to application.  Allow at least 24 hours after application before bathing again.  While the topical products are waterproof, frequent bathing will decrease the effectiveness over time.  There is no need to give your pet a flea bath after applying our products.
  • Treating an infestation means treating every possible cause of infestation including the pet(s), the yard, and the home.