Fleas and ticks are more common during warm months (spring to fall), but can be seen throughout the year in the Northeast especially with warmer winter months. VCA recommends dogs and cats, especially indoor/outdoor cats be on year round prevention. Lyme Disease and Anaplasma are two common tick borne diseases we currently find in our city pets. Both conditions can cause debilitating arthritis and in rare and unfortunate cases -kidney failure. Areas outlying New York City have some of the highest prevalence in all of the US of Lyme disease in the deer tick population. But, did you also know that the white footed mouse is a Lyme host and that Lyme can be found in dogs that have never left the city?
There are many options for prevention. For patients who do not like topical prevention or if you would prefer a non topical option because of children or lifestyle factors we now carry chewable options for both fleas and ticks. Ask your vet about yearly Lyme and Anaplasma testing. This test can be combined with the yearly Heartworm test.
Heartworm disease is found in all 50 states and Hope recommends Heartworm prevention year round. Heartworm is carried by mosquitos and it takes 6 months for the larva transferred by mosquitos to the blood stream to become adult worms. Adult worms lodge in one of the main arteries of the heart and can cause life threatening disease. While coughing is one of the most common signs of Heartworm disease, not all pets show symptoms. It can be potentially fatal to give preventative medications to a dog with Heartworm disease, which is why yearly testing is recommended and so important. Prevention of Heartworm is key as treatment is pricey, risky, painful for your pet, and is not always successful. Please talk to your vet about Heartworm prevention options for your dog and cat. If they are not currently on prevention they will need to be tested first for their safety.