Parasites are terrible. We can’t sugarcoat it. A dog’s ears covered in dozens of swollen ticks. A cat with belly skin bleeding from flea bites. Distraught pet parents who found their fur babies in respiratory distress from heartworms.
The good news is: We can prevent parasites! We carry many prevention products that are effective and safe. But first: Let’s get scared, shall we?
Threats to Your Pet
Heartworms: It only takes one bite one time for an infected mosquito to transfer heartworms to your fur baby. Heartworms are found in all 50 states. In dogs, they are easy to prevent but difficult and expensive to cure. Sadly, there is no cure for heartworm disease in cats—which means infected cats will likely die, painfully and in respiratory crisis, before anyone ever knew they had it.
According to PetMD, once a pet is infected it takes about seven months for heartworm larvae to mature into adults. Then they lodge in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels and start to reproduce. Adult heartworms can grow up to a foot in length and live up to seven years. A dog can be infected by as many as 250 worms.
Heartworm disease is simply brutal. Left untreated, dogs will eventually struggle to breathe and can even pass out from a lack of blood flow to the brain. Left untreated, heartworm disease is nearly always fatal. And please believe us: Death from heartworm disease is not a peaceful death. It is a gut-wrenching death that no pet should ever suffer and no pet parent should ever see.
Fleas: Fleas are no picnic for pets or their people. Their bites cause itchiness and inflammation. Fleas bite to draw blood, on which they feed. Who wants their fur baby getting bitten by a bunch of hungry fleas??
Plus, every time a flea bites, it transfers saliva into its host. Some pets have an allergic reaction to the saliva, which is called flea dermatitis. This skin disease can cause intense itchiness, painful swelling, rashes, loss of fur, bumps, pustules, and raw, bloody, crusty skin.
A severe flea infestation can even kill a puppy or kitten. All those flea bites will drain a lot of blood, which can cause deadly anemia (a deficiency of white blood cells or hemoglobin). A flea infestation is extremely taxing on the body.
One last note on fleas: They’re certainly a nuisance, but they also carry disease. Typhus, “cat scratch fever,” tapeworms: They all come from fleas and can, in some cases, be transferred to humans.
Ticks: We’ll just come out and say it. Ticks are disgusting. They transmit tons of diseases: Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichiosis, dog tick fever, tick paralysis, and about a million others that remain a mystery to medical science.
Tick-borne diseases can cause everything from vomiting and diarrhea to lethargy and painful joints, weakness, and stiffness, fever and depression, nose bleeds, and swollen limbs to neurological disorders and seizures.
They can be tough to treat, and antibiotic regimens often cause uncomfortable side effects.
Intestinal parasites: The most common are giardia, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Only two (roundworms and tapeworms) can be seen with the naked eye. Symptoms of an infestation include diarrhea, bloody stool, vomiting, weight loss, dry fur, and a generally poor body condition.
Some pets walk around for years with intestinal parasites and never show signs. That can’t be good for them! And eventually, it’s going to make them sick.
In fact, some worms are dormant in the pet’s body and only activate during times of stress—or, in the case of roundworms and hookworms, during the later stages of pregnancy, when they activate to infest the soon-to-be-born puppies and kittens.
That’s why it’s crucial for us to run regular intestinal parasite screens on your pet’s poop.
Worms are incredibly prolific. Just one worm can produce 100,000+ eggs per day, which are then spread through the pet’s stool. Once in the environment, some eggs can present a health risk to pets and people for years.
Here’s where it gets really scary. Several intestinal parasites are zoonotic—which means they can be transferred from pets to humans. This is somewhat uncommon and can usually be avoided through good hygiene, but it does happen. For instance, roundworm eggs can be transferred from contaminated soil or water through the mouth. Children are most at risk.
What else? Just mites, lice, mange, coccidia, ringworm, leptospirosis, toxoplasma, babesiosis, cryptosporidium…and we aren’t making any of these words up.
It’s true that some parasitic infections can be fairly easy to treat (although treatment always takes money, time, and effort). But some are not easy at all. Who wants to take the risk?
Weigh Your Options
If your pet is not on prevention, you could:
- Worry constantly about your pet getting sick.
- Face a vet bill of thousands of dollars to treat your dog’s heartworms.
- Watch your dog endure painful heartworm treatments, or even lose your fur baby to heartworms.
- Have to rid your entire house (every sofa cushion, every rug, every nook, and cranny) of fleas, which is costly and disruptive.
- Have to treat every single one of your pets for flea dermatitis.
- See your pet feel miserable.
- Have to bring your pet to the vet multiple times to resolve a parasite infection.
- Put your human family at risk.
Parasite prevention is life-saving care for your pet. It’s also peace of mind for you.
It’s OK: We’re With You
If your pet isn’t on prevention, you are not a bad pet parent! We’re not here to shame or judge anyone. We’re here to educate and help. We arm pet parents with the best information so they can give their pets the best care. Our mission is to protect and advocate for pets. We love what we do; it is a calling.
We know our pet parents are responsible, caring people who love their pets like family. Maybe you just didn’t know as much as you know now! So now is the time to act on prevention.
But My Pet Never Goes Outside
We hear this one a lot. Sadly, it simply doesn’t matter.
Guess who does go outside? You. And you can unwittingly track all sorts of parasites into your home. You’ve likely found a mosquito buzzing around in the house? Yep. We bring the outside inside all the time. In fact, one scientific study conducted in North Carolina found that about 28% of cats infected with heartworms were “indoor only.” And remember: There is no cure for heartworms in cats.
This is all sobering, scary stuff. But your fear ends here!
Good News Ahead
Suffering and death from parasites can be easily prevented by keeping your pet on prevention products year-round. We carry numerous options for dogs and cats. They are effective, safe, and thoroughly researched and tested…and we use them on our pets, too.
Prevention products come as soft chews and topical ointments. We also love the Seresto collar, which prevents fleas and ticks for eight whole months. We have many good options that will work for your pet.
Plus, many of our providers offer rebates. If your pet has a current prevention prescription, you can fill it at Eno (if we carry it in-house) or place an order via our online store on the blue banner above.
If your pet needs a prescription, all you have to do is call us for a visit! We will check your pet’s medical history and get details about his or her unique lifestyle—then recommend the very best prevention product for your fur baby.
The only way to know for sure your pet is protected, and you haven’t wasted your money on a counterfeit product, is to go through your trusted veterinarian. Can you spot a fake?
A final thought: We realize parasite prevention costs money, and sometimes the cost even seems prohibitive.
Here’s our argument: Parasite prevention is an investment in the best life of your pet. It absolutely saves lives. The expense is dwarfed by comparison to what it costs to treat a parasitic infection. And we never want any pet parent to suffer the heartbreak of losing a fur baby to something so easily preventable.
Thank you for reading and getting informed about the importance of prevention. We hope you agree: It’s doggone essential!