Hunt Valley Animal Hospital Urges Flea, Tick, Heartworm Prevention

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HUNT VALLEY, Md., March 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Hunt Valley veterinarian is spreading the word about the need to protect pets against fleas, ticks and heartworm. According to Dr. Allan Frank of Hunt Valley Animal Hospital, these parasites can seriously harm or even kill the animals they victimize. Due to the lack of winter weather this year, the veterinarian predicts another severe flea/tick season. "While prompt treatment can often help save a beloved pet from infestations, simple preventative care can do even more to help owners help their pets," says Dr. Frank. "We hope that Hunt Valley owners will make a point of getting regular parasite prevention for their animals, so that there will be no need for lengthy, complex treatments later on."

Dr. Frank of Hunt Valley Animal Hospital warns pet owners that flea infestations cause more than mere discomfort. These tiny parasitic insects carry diseases, including tapeworms, murine typhus, cat scratch disease and even bubonic plague. They are particularly deadly to very small or young animals, such as puppies and kittens, because infestations can cause severe or even fatal anemia. Dr. Frank recommends regular checkups that enable practitioners to detect and treat flea infestations. Fleas' ability to resist specific flea-killing medications, depending on their current stage of development, can complicate treatment, so the veterinarian recommends regular dog grooming and periodic preventative treatments to keep fleas at bay.

Ticks also pose multiple threats to animal health. Dogs and cats are commonly exposed to ticks while moving through freshly-mown grass, where the ticks are poised atop the blades of grass. Dr. Meghan Johnston, veterinarian with the animal hospital, notes that tick bites can transmit several dangerous diseases, including Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. She also points out that significant loss of blood can occur from a severe tick infestation.

"Ticks attached to pets must be removed, although they may be attached so strongly that the head has to be removed separately," she says.

The clinic offers a variety of treatments and preventative medicines to discourage tick infestation. As with fleas, regular dog grooming can help detect ticks buried in hair, as well as signs of skin irritation from their bites.

The veterinarians name heartworm as yet another deadly but preventable parasite. These creatures migrate into the heart and lungs, where they eventually cause cardiopulmonary failure and death. The process, however, may take several years to become outwardly noticeable. "By the time you can actually see what the worms are doing to your pet, the infestation may be highly advanced," say the veterinarians, adding that routine wellness testing can help diagnose the condition early. "We urge owners to keep up their pet's preventative medications."

Dr. Frank and Dr. Johnston along with Dr. Courtney Jones, Dr. Brand Pondish and Dr. Gary Brooks of Hunt Valley Animal Hospital also perform dental care, surgery, vaccinations, dog grooming, and senior pet care.

The Hunt Valley Animal Hospital logo is available at

CONTACT: Hunt Valley Animal Hospital 888-667-5235

Source:Hunt Valley Animal Hospital