With all of the news about a new disease, COVID-19, it’s easy to forget about the less-sensational risks that our pets are exposed to every day. While the rest of the world has paused, parasites such as fleas, ticks and heartworms are conducting business as usual, and they’re not social distancing. Many pet-owners are spending more time at home, and dogs are getting more walks than ever, increasing the risk of parasite exposure.
Every year, veterinarians call on pet lovers to get their companion animals tested for intestinal parasites, heartworm and tick-borne diseases. They survey clients about their pets’ lifestyles, outdoor activities, and travel patterns, and make tailored recommendations about deworming and parasite prevention. With various lockdown orders in effect across the globe, veterinarians may not be able to complete the usual testing and face-to-face consultations. The Companion Animal Parasite Council has acknowledged this. Although they emphasize the importance of testing, they’ve recommended that veterinarians postpone testing protocols for up to 6 months and continue the delivery of risk evaluation and parasite control advice through telemedicine protocols. Most importantly they strongly advise the continued prescribing and dispensing of preventative medications for pets.
This means that pet owners should be able to access critical information and preventative medications for their pets from a distance, even through this crisis.
The need to keep pets safe from parasitic disease is even more important this season than ever. With veterinary offices operating under strict social distancing protocols, it may be difficult to bring your pet to the vet when you have a concern. Even though fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can seem like minor annoyances, they can play a role in spreading much more serious diseases such as Lyme disease, heartworm and Feline Infectious Anemia. Furthermore, some parasitic illnesses can be transmitted from pets to humans. This year, more than ever, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Did you know that Wellness Care, an optional add-on to supplement the coverage in your Accident & Illness policy, covers annual exams, vaccines, flea and tick prevention, nail trimming, dental and even pre-existing conditions?