Frequently Asked Questions

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Parasites

These frequently asked questions are related to the prevention and treatment of parasites. If you do not see an answer to your question below, please feel free to call us at 217-483-6000.

What are heartworms?

Heartworms are parasites that actually live in dogs’ hearts. They obviously do not do the dog any good. They can be diagnosed with a blood test. Typically, we try to prevent infection with a preventative medication.

How do dogs get heartworms?

Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes. A mosquito bites the dog and leaves microscopic worms behind. The worms migrate to the heart and grow into spaghetti-sized worms.

I wasn't able to give my dog his heartworm pill. What do I do?

Keep trying until you get the pill in. Most products have about a 10-day safety window built-in. If nothing works, we may be able to suggest alternatives.

How do I know if my pet has worms?

Intestinal parasites normally cause the pet to feel less lively. They may lose weight, experience vomiting or diarrhea, and have a poor coat. We can diagnose heartworms with a blood test. Intestinal parasites are normally diagnosed by checking a stool sample.

Why do you need to do a fecal exam if I can't see any worms?

Only roundworms are big enough to see in the stool. Hookworms and whipworms are too small to see with the naked eye. Unfortunately, these are the worst worms as far as the dog is concerned.

My dog never leaves the backyard. Can she still get heartworms?

Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes. They bring the heartworms right to the dog. They even come into the house.

My child has head lice. Did he get it from our pet?

Pets can not carry or transmit head lice. Your child probably picked up the lice at school.

How do pets get fleas?

Pets get fleas outside on the lawn. The fleas lay their eggs in the house. Once the eggs hatch, the pets start to get fleas from in the house.

How do I control fleas?

The most convenient method to control fleas is oral medication. These are prescription products. We can help you choose the best one for your household.

Does Brewer's yeast prevent or kill fleas?

Brewer’s yeast does nothing.

Do dogs get ticks?

Yes, dogs get the same ticks that people get. For dogs regularly exposed to ticks, there are a variety of very effective products available to keep them safe. We can recommend the one that fits best with your dog and household.

What do ticks look like?

Ticks are eight-legged bugs that attach themselves to the skin of the host. They swell with blood, and you can hardly see the legs after a day or two.

How can I get rid of ticks on my dog?

You can either use a topical product or an oral product for a dog already infested with ticks. Either method is very effective.