Parasite Prevention Party- Client Education Night


Heartworm diseaseFlea and Tick



Join us for Client Education Night: April 15th 6-8pm

At Oakland Hills Veterinary Hospital

Those who attend will be given a raffle ticket to win one of many prizes including: heartworm prevention, flea/tick prevention, toys, treats, etc.

We will have two guest speakers, one from Novartis (Sentinel) and one from Merial (Heartgard and Frontline), that will discuss heartworm disease and flea and ticks, followed by Dr. Christy having a question and answer session.

Canine Heartworm disease

Heartworm disease, a potentially life-threatening condition, is found in geographic areas that house mosquitoes. While treatment is available for heartworm infection in dogs, prevention is much safer and without side effects.

Adult heartworms live and reproduce in the heart and large blood vessels entering the lungs of an infected dog. Mature female heartworms pass their offspring (called microfilaria) into the dog’s bloodstream to circulate througho

ut the body. The transfer of infection to another susceptible animal begins when a mosquito takes a blood meal from a heartworm-infected dog. Once inside the mosquito, the microfilariae or juvenile worms, spend the next 30 days maturing into an infective stage. Maturation of the microfilariae to infective larvae within the mosquito is required for transmission of heartworm infection. At the next blood meal, the mosquito injects the infective larvae into the skin of a naïve dog. After a short time in the skin, the larvae migrate through the body to finally land in the pulmonary arteries to mature into adults 5-6 months later and restart the lifecycle. The entire life cycle takes 6-8 months to complete depending on environmental conditions.

Treatment for heartworm infection requires a series of injections to kill the adult heartworms. Based on your pet’s staging, your veterinarian will develop the safest treatment protocol. The safest, most effective treatment for heartworm disease is prevention: treat the infection before the worms mature and lead to disease. Monthly, year-round prophylactic medication prevents this life-threatening disease.

Feline Heartworm Disease

Current research shows that heartworm infection in cats is more common than previously thought. Feline heartworm disease was considered to be a rare condition – likely because this disease is difficult to diagnose in cats. New strategies for diagnosing heartworm disease in cats have improved detection rates. Today we know that heartworm infection is a serious disease that does occur in cats. In fact, the incidence of heartworm infection in cats rivals that of Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Because cats are not a natural host for the heartworm, the typical development of the parasite does not occur as it does in the dog and the symptoms related to infection differ as well.

There is no safe treatment to eliminate heartworm infection in cats. Medical treatment for heartworm infection in cats is limited to symptomatic therapy, or there is surgical treatment to manually remove the worms available. The safest, most effective treatment for heartworm disease is prevention: treat the infection before the worms mature and lead to disease. Monthly, year-round prophylactic medication prevents this life-threatening disease.

Fleas and Ticks

External parasites (living on the outside of the body) are not just a nuisance for your pet and your family. These pests carry disease, stimulate allergies and contribute to skin and ear infections. Pets with external parasites tend to be itchy. Some external parasites can be seen with the naked eye (e.g.: fleas, ticks), however, others require a microscope to find. The most common external parasites that infect dogs and cats include:

  • Fleas: When a single flea is found, this represents a mere 1% of the entire problem: the other 99% includes their eggs and larvae that are developing in your carpets and bedding.
  • Ticks: Ticks represent an important cause of disease transmission, and can transmit such diseases as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, and Leishmaniasis.

Fortunately, there are many topical medications available to remove and treat these parasites. Some animals require oral medications to clear the infection.

Many external parasites can be spread among pets and infest your home. It is important to treat all of the pets in the household and the environment as well. Detailed instructions for successful therapy are available through your veterinarian.

We hope to see you at our event!