Parasite Prevention for Dogs and Cats in Locust Grove, GA

Protecting your pet from serious illness or disease is best accomplished through prevention. At Woodland Animal Hospital, we provide parasite prevention through annual testing and administering preventative medication to ensure your pet’s health.

Contact Woodland Animal Hospital to schedule your pet’s annual testing today!

Common Types of Pet Parasites

Fleas, ticks, heartworms and other parasites can transmit illness or disease to your dog or cat and affect them in a variety of ways. We recommend pets be provided with preventative medication year round to offer optimal protection. Parasites may not cause any immediate visible symptoms in your pet which is why annual testing and preventative medication is vital to ensuring your pet’s protection. The types of parasites include:

Intestinal Parasites

The eggs of these parasites can be brought into your home on shoes or clothing, which means both indoor and outdoor pets are at risk. Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms and giardia can cause intestinal parasites, and are commonly found in our area. These parasites do not provoke outward symptoms, making testing even more important.

External Parasites

These parasites, such as fleas and ticks, are a year round concern. They are easily spread from pet to pet, and are very common afflictions to pets. Pets can be exposed to fleas and ticks through their environment, including your backyard or dog parks. They may cause itching, hair loss, allergies, anemia and skin infections or more serious illness such as Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. You probably know some of the symptoms: itching, hair loss, allergies, anemia and skin infections. However, the possibility of your pet transmitting other parasites, such as tapeworms or serious diseases like Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, is also something else to be aware of. Because of the weather and environmental conditions, we recommend that pets living in Georgia should be on flea and tick prevention year round. The key to preventing these parasites is following to a monthly, veterinarian-prescribed maintenance program.


Mosquitos are the most common method of spreading heartworms and can affect both dogs and cats. This disease is very common in our area and requires monthly preventative medication in addition to regular testing for protection. Heartworm disease may cause coughing, reluctant to exercise, lethargy or sudden death. Early detection and treatment are the best possible care when it comes to heartworms.

cat and dog

Frequently Asked Questions About Heartworms

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic roundworm that does not cause any immediate external symptoms. It may cause a lack of appetite, weight loss, and ultimately breathing issues and heart failure.

Mosquitos commonly spread heartworm by biting infected animals and spreading the disease to the next animal it feeds on. Not all mosquitos carry heartworm, and though it cannot be spread to humans, the amount of carrier mosquitos can rise at any time. Pets also cannot directly spread heartworm to one another, but can become a source of heartworms for another pet. This emphasizes the need for regular testing and preventative medication.

Yes, both dogs and cats can be affected by heartworm disease.

Although your dog may not initially present any clinical signs of heartworm, as the disease progresses, they may develop the following:

  • Mild cough
  • Aversion to exercise
  • Fatigue after normal activity
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Signs of heartworm in cats can range from mild to severe, such as:

  • Coughing
  • Asthma attacks
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss

Blood testing is the most common way of diagnosing heartworm. This checks for the toxin, or heartworm antigen that causes an immune response.

However, only a few heartworms will not produce a substantial amount of antigen, which will not generate a positive blood test. In this case, further testing may be performed such as CBC or thyroid to confirm a correct diagnosis.

X-rays or echocardiograms can also be used to accurately diagnosis heartworm.

The best method of protection from heartworm is prevention. By using screens, keeping windows or doors properly closed, or eliminating stagnant water, you can help keep mosquitos away from your pets. Once your pet has tested negative for heartworm, you can administer a monthly preventative, or we can provide a PH-12 injection for 1 year of protection for dogs.

We strongly recommend annual testing and monthly preventative medication as your pet’s best protection against heartworm and other parasites.

No, heartworms cannot live inside humans. Humans may be infected with heartworm through a mosquito bite, however, heartworms are unable to live in the human bloodstream.

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