dog scratching - fleas ticksHeartworm, Fleas and Ticks – Oh My!! Internal and external parasite control is a very important part of your pet’s overall health. They love the cozy warm haven of your pets warm coat and insides. Some of these bloodsuckers can affect your human family as well. The preventative options are overwhelming…we know. Put your mind and pocket at ease with these tips from Dr. Bradley Gray, owner Brandywine Veterinary Hospital.

Heartworm preventative is an important medication that should be given all year long.

AMS Heartworm infographicYear round administration is important because giving this preventative intermittently deems it ineffective and possibly individually dangerous. Annual blood testing is also recommended by the American Heartworm Society.

Heartworm Disease is transmitted via mosquito bites and if untreated, is a life threatening infection.

Heartworm can infect both dogs and cats. In dogs, the condition is usually much more severe than in cats as many more worms will prosper in the dog’s larger heart. Dogs with Heartworm Disease typically present with a cough which is stemming from fluid accumulation in the lungs from decreased cardiac efficiency. Chronic cough in cats is often linked to Heartworm as well. The treatment for Heartworm Disease is costly for you (>$1000) and worse for your pet as the heart damage is often irreversible. The cost for Heartworm Prevention is based upon your pet’s weight and it is very affordable from $5-9 per month. Most Heartworm Preventatives also have effectiveness at preventing intestinal parasites. There are oral, injectable and topical Heartworm Preventatives available. The best choice of administration should be decided upon by you and your veterinarian.

Flea and Tick Prevention is important for both you and your pet’s health and comfort.

These medications should be administered in the months when the temperatures can reach above 50 degrees during the day. In our region, that is the majority of the year.

One tick lays 100 eggs at a time. 

One adult female flea can lay as many as 50 eggs a day. YIKES!

flea_and_tickFleas are very irritating to your pet’s skin and they can bite you too! Flea Bite Allergies are common in pets without protection. Ticks can cause a host of different diseases in you and your pets. The most common Tick Borne Diseases are Lyme, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and recently Powassan Virus.  People are susceptible to these diseases also so by keeping the ticks off of your pets you are protecting your human family members as well! Lyme Disease in humans is well documented and is often debilitating but the emerging Powassan Virus is even more frightening as there is no current treatment available. There are many varieties of Flea and Tick Preventatives on the market today. They are commonly administered either topically or orally. The cost is often based upon the weight of your pet but in general, the better quality products cost around $12 per month.

Please consult with your veterinarian as to the right product for


Where do I purchase these medications?cat-dog-give-high-five-

Your veterinarian is the best source for product information and selection. There are many varieties of these different preventatives and determining the best for you, your pet and your family can likely not be answered online or by the well-meaning person tending the register at the hardware or box store.  Prices vary but consult your veterinarian first as they have coupons and specials that often make their products ultimately less expensive than other options. There are also manufacturer guarantees and warrantees that are only available through your veterinarian. For instance, many manufacturers of Heartworm Preventatives guarantee their products against internal parasite prevention.  If you have purchased Heartworm Preventative from a veterinarian and your dog has intestinal parasites, then the manufacturer will cover the cost of diagnosing and treating these parasites.

The manufacturer of Frontline will pay up to $300 to treat your house by an exterminator, if you have purchased their product from your veterinarian and still have fleas after 3 months.

Many of the products available can be dangerous to some breeds and species of pets. Veterinarians are best suited to point out these differences. Heartworm, Flea and Tick Preventatives are an important part of managing your pet’s health! They can also help protect your human family.

Have a fun and safe remainder of the Summer!


Brandywine Veterinary HospitalAbout Brandywine Veterinary Hospital

Brandywine Veterinary Hospital is a family owned and operated business in Chadds Ford that has been serving their valued clients and patients since 1957. A full service Veterinary hospital that offers a friendly feel coupled with state of the art diagnostics’, medicine and surgery. Brandywine provides the highest quality of veterinary medicine with compassion.  Services include all facets of veterinary medicine, dentistry, surgery, boarding, doggy day care, grooming and canine rehabilitation.

Dr. Bradley S. Gray is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School and lives in North Delaware. He is the current proprietor with special interests in Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Surgery. He is also certified in Canine Rehabilitation, a great compliment to Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Brad is the second generation of veterinarians in his family. His father Dr. Harry L. Gray started this practice in 1957. Dr. Gray currently shares his home with two Black Labs, a Great Pyrenees/Golden cross and three cats.

Brandywine Veterinary Hospital prides themselves on offering excellent service with competitive pricing. They offer all phases of medical services including wellness visits, vaccinations, flea, tick and heartworm products, preventative medicine, specialty therapeutic diets, ophthalmology, dermatology, dentistry, endocrinology, radiology, arthritis treatments, Stem Cell Therapy, and chemotherapy. Hours of operation are 8AM to 8PM Monday through Friday and 9AM to 5PM Saturdays. Brandywine offers free second opinion surgical consultations. Appointments are recommended to meet the “team”.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit Brandywine Veterinary Hospital online, call (610) 459-0500 or email [email protected].

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your pets’ health!

Bradley S. Gray, VMD CCRP and Staff

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