Does Your Pet Need Preventive Medications?

Preventive medications are one big perk of the Fuzzy membership. But what are they, really?

Pet Preventive Medications

Here at Fuzzy, we believe in a proactive approach for your pet’s healthcare. That’s why we include heartworm tests, fecal tests and preventive medications in our preventive care memberships. We believe strongly in preventive medications, and have them shipped directly to you every month to make it easy for you.  Preventive medications are just that – medications that prevent different conditions or diseases, as opposed to trying to cure them (it’s much cheaper to prevent than to cure!). They’re administered regularly, most typically on a monthly basis. You can plan to spend roughly $30 per month on preventive medications if you want your pet to be protected against the basics: fleas, ticks, and heartworm.

What are the different types of preventive medications out there?

Preventive medications come in two broad categories: oral and topical. There is also an injectable formula that prevents heartworm disease. Some pet owners prefer natural products (such as sodium polyborate to treat environments) combined with at least daily flea combing. If you go this route, be aware that these products tend to require much more effort on behalf of the pet parent in order to be effective. The Bay Area has particularly resistant populations of fleas, even resistant to popular topical medications like Frontline.

Commonly used preventive medications help prevent intestinal parasites, and ward off diseases that can be passed to your dog by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.

Fleas

Once your pet has fleas, it can take up to three months to get rid of them. It only takes one flea to cause a problem and they can be hard to see under all that fur. Where there is one flea, you can bet there are many more laying eggs in your carpet or hiding in furniture. Tapeworms, blood-borne parasites, and the plague are all transmitted by fleas. They can also cause severe allergies, skin infections, and long-term skin conditions.

Heartworms

Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitos.  While heartworm disease is very easily prevented, the treatment itself is very costly and sometimes fatal. Before you rush to get heartworm medication, you should your test your dog to make sure they’re heartworm-negative. Giving medication to a heartworm-positive dog could cause serious health problems.  Where there is water, there are mosquitos. Irrigated lawns, gardens, swimming pools, and birdbaths are common mosquito breeding grounds.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites like tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms are quite common in young animals and in pets with exposure to other animals or wildlife. Just because you don’t see worms in your pet’s feces does not mean they’re not there.  You need to be extra careful with intestinal parasites – they can be transmitted to humans and cause some serious health issues, especially in kids.

Ticks

If your pet spends any time in tall grass, brush, or bushes, watch out for ticks. Ticks can spread diseases such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Babesia, all of which can be fatal without treatment. Always remove ticks immediately upon seeing them to help prevent disease transmission. If you’re in the Bay Area, be extra careful in the Marin headlands – ticks are quite popular there!

The most popularly recommended preventive medications by our vets are Simparica, Tri-Heart Plus, and Revolution. However, the Fuzzy vet team will work with you during your in-home checkup to help you figure out what’s best for your pet.