It’s that time of year when one of my “icks” are going to ramp back up again. Random people will use their social media accounts to spread misinformation that will cause someones dog harm. Natural products for parasite prevention do not work, if you use it and truly have not had a problem you have been very lucky! If you have discussed your choices with your veterinarian and know the risks of not using prevention you have made an informed decision. If any advise is given to other people it should be to have a discussion with a medical professional so that person then has the opportunity to make their own decision about their pets. Your personal experience can not be duplicated in another persons situation.

I have said it before and I will keep saying it- All pet’s should be on monthly heart worm, flea, and tick prevention. This is essential to preventing disease. All products have their pro’s and con’s and they all serve a purpose. There is not a once size fits all option for every family. My main priority is to find an option that makes you comfortable, that you will be compliant giving, and that will protect your dog from harm. Sometimes your ideal option might not be the best choice due to a previous poor reaction or an underlying medical condition your pet has developed.

I know that a previous bad experiences with a medication can be difficult to overcome but this shouldn’t prevent you from discussing your concerns with your veterinarian and protecting your pet. There are so many options available to prevent disease in your pet that together we should be able to come up with a plan that you are comfortable with.

Unless you have been the one to discuss a diagnosis of heartworm disease with a family, been the one to inject a painful medication deep into the back muscles of a dog, or euthanize a dog who has developed a thromboembolus after treatment you should not be offering medical advise.

This is not meant to judge or cause someone to feel shameful for the choices they have made for their pet. It is to encourage you to discuss choices and options with your veterinarian so there are no surprises. To encourage owners not to offer medical advise to others but to have honest conversations with the veterinarian you have entrusted your pet’s care too. This can be challenging on both sides of the table and I sometimes think it boils down to miscommunication. Instead of both parties having patience and empathy for each others position it becomes more of a Mexican standoff. This leads to frustration for the owner and the veterinary staff and in the end the animal that everyone wants the best for suffers.

In situations where monthly prevention is not an option than the frequency of screening needs to be increased. So thinking about stool samples every 3 months and heart worm and tick born testing every 6 months. If you do find parasites on your pet it is important to submit them for infectious disease testing.

So this is an annual reminder to discuss parasite prevention with your veterinarian, for veterinary staff to approach everyones choices with kindness and compassion as they are doing what they think is best for their pet- most people give this decision a lot of consideration, and if you are currently giving parasite prevention to keep up the good work!