Flea & Parasite Prevention Program
In temperate climates like Oregon, fleas and intestinal parasites are a year-round concern. If left unprotected, dogs and cats are both at risk for contracting fleas and tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, heartworms, giardia and more. Most parasites are not visible to the naked eye except for tapeworms and sometimes roundworms if they are passed. Often the stool can look completely normal yet the pet had an infestation internally. At least 1 out of 10 dogs that we screen are positive for parasites despite a normal looking stool and a healthy appearing pet. Many intestinal parasites are considered zoonotic, which means that humans can be affected by them as well, especially children. For these reasons, we have outlined a parasite prevention schedule for each of your pets below:
Fecal Screening: Have a fecal exam done at least once a year, preferably twice if your dog goes to Day Care or Dog Parks.
Flea Control: Comfortis is an oral tablet that begins killing fleas in 30 minutes and lasts for 30 days. Swimming and bathing will not ruin the efficacy of this product as it is given orally. The active ingredient is an organic compound called Spinosad, which received the Green Chemistry Challenge Award. We recommend Comfortis as a safe and effective option for flea control. Given year round, you will not have to worry about a flea infestation in your home.
Heartworm and Intestinal Parasite Prevention: Trifexis is a chewable medication that contains a broad spectrum antiparacitic, Milbemycin, as well as the flea-controlling Comfortis all in one! It will prevent fleas, heartworm disease, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Trifexis, like Comfortis, is an oral tablet that lasts for 30 days. The additional protection that Trifrexis provides will prevent the spread of Heartworm Disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. If your pet is over a year old and has never been on a heartworm preventative before, a heartworm test (a simple blood test) must be performed before medication can be started.
Adult worms mature in the heart and can cause serious problems, and if medication is started while adult worms are present, the results can be extremely harmful. In addition to preventing heartworms, Trifexis will also help control Roundworms, Hookworms and Whipworms in your pet. Once started, heartworm preventatives must be given year-round, and if a gap in treatment persists for more than three months, a heartworm test must be performed again before restarting heartworm medication.
Fecal Screening: Have a fecal exam done at least once a year. For cats that don’t use an indoor litter box, a routine broad spectrum dewormer is recommended once a year.
Flea Control: Revolution flea control is a topical preventative applied once a month which lasts for 30 days. Unlike many topical flea treatments, Revolution absorbs completely into the skin and leaves no oily residue. Besides killing fleas, it will also render the eggs so they will not hatch. Revolution also helps prevent roundworms, whipworms and earmites. It is recommended year-round for cats that go outdoors and for indoor cats that may be exposed to dogs or other cats that go in and out. Indoor cats have also been known to contract fleas that make their way inside and in these cases Revolution can be used month-to-month.
Heartworm disease is not prevalent in cats in Oregon.
If you already have a flea problem, it is important to remember that in addition to treating pets, it may be necessary to treat their environment (bedding, carpeted areas, etc) to prevent re-infestation. Need help with existing fleas? Please review this flea control handout.