Text Box: and September, although weather conditions sometimes affect the degree of problems we see.  In addition, fleas can live quite happily in your house all winter long.  For Text Box: most pets, we suggest Topspot, a once a month topical flea preventative available for both dogs and cats.  Used properly Topspot is quite effective in keeping flea problems under control.  For dogs with  more limited exposure, Sentinel oral tablets for flea and heartworm prevention may be appropriate Text Box: Our warm winter may well mean that we will see an early onset of fleas this spring.  Typically we begin to see problems as early as April;  they continue to increase throughout the summer and reach their peak in August Text Box: Traditionally we consider spring and the arrival of warmer weather prime time for heartworm exposure.  However, in reality your dog is at risk for all but a month or two in winter in our area.  Because the heartworm preventatives also help to prevent intestinal parasites (a year round problem) and also to accommodate weather fluctuations and pets who travel, we recommend that your pet be on a monthly preventative (Interceptor or Sentinel) twelve months out of the year.  
To bring us into compliance with the recommendations by the American Heartworm Society, we will no longer waive testing in alternate years for pets on year round preventative.  New guidelines require annual testing in order to maximize chances of identifying this life threatening disease in its early stages.  In addition, we Text Box: found that most of our clients had breaks in compliance at least occasionally which makes annual testing even more important.  2005 brought an increase in the number of heartworm positive dogs we treated as well.
If your dog is NOT currently on preventative, he/she must be tested prior to starting the monthly pills.  Please call our office for an appointment.  
If your dog is currently on heartworm preventative and has not missed any pills, we will test at your annual visit.  You should receive a postcard reminder in the mail when your pet is due.
Remember that we carry Sentinel, a form of heartworm preventative which also incorporates oral flea control.  This product works by sterilizing the fleas and preventing them from laying Text Box: eggs in the environment.  It works well in environments which do not have a heavy flea infestation at the outset, and all pets in the environment must be treated.  For those of you using it, remember this product MUST be given with a meal in order to be effective!
Text Box: fresh stool sample to your pet’s annual exam if possible.  Dogs which are treated with Interceptor or Sentinel are also protected from roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms.  We can use Interceptor in outdoor cats to prevent these parasites as  well, even though we are not currently Text Box: Intestinal parasites are a common problem in pets, and the most common problem we see which can cause health issues in people.  We recommend a stool exam at each puppy and kitten check and will perform preventative treatment for roundworms at that time (even if the stool sample is negative).  In accordance with the recommendations by the Center for Disease Control we recommend annual stool checks thereafter;  please bring a Text Box: recommending heartworm prophylaxis for cats in our area.  Check with the doctor if you think this may be helpful for your cat.
We also commonly see several protozoal parasites which are NOT covered by the heartworm preventatives.  Be sure to practice good hygiene and wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning up after your pet.
Text Box: Prepare for fleas now
Text Box: Heartworm season is here!
Text Box: Intestinal parasites are a year round problem

Edgewood Animal Clinic

(see above).  Should you experience a flea outbreak, we may also recommend Capstar, a fast but short acting pill which begins killing fleas in 20 minutes

and lasts for up to 24 hours.  This can give you a quick initial kill and let your topicals go to work.  For serious infestations treating the environment may also be necessary.  Remember, we recommend treating ALL pets in the household, even if they do not go outside.  Pets who have experienced flea problems may also become infected with tapeworms (contracted by swallowing a flea).  These parasites often will not show up on our annual stool checks, but are usually visible in the stool or around the rectum.  They look like rice segments, or when dried somewhat like sesame seeds.  Should you  think you see them please call us.