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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I give my dog heartworm preventatives and use flea/tick controls all year long?

Heartworm disease is caused by adult heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) living in the heart and lungs of your dog. Dogs acquire heartworm disease from mosquitoes, when an infected mosquito bites and transfers heartworm larvae directly in the blood stream of a dog. The circulating larvae can then settle into the heart, and grow into large worms.

Due to a variety of environmental factors, we now have mosquitoes year-round in central NH. We also have an increasing number of heartworm infected dogs from Southern states being relocated to NH for adoption. This means that mosquitoes at any time during the year can acquire heartworm larvae from an infected dog and transmit it to an un-infected dog.

Although the incidence of heartworm disease in this area had been decreasing, there is now renewed concern for an increased incidence, due to the reasons listed above.

Our top recommendation for heartworm preventative is Sentinel, which also protect your dog from several intestinal parasites, many of which are zoonotic (i.e. can be transmitted to humans). Other options are available as well, for your convenience. Heartworm preventatives work by killing the tiny larvae, before they can mature in adult worms.

The average cost to protect your dog   from heartworm disease is only 0.28 cents per day!

Finally, did you know that cats and people can get heartworm too?

We also recommend the use of  flea/tick preventatives year round. We take our pets more places; boarding, grooming, parks, pet stores, on vacations; this puts them at greater risk to pick up fleas, even in the winter. Ticks are now found all year long. Although not as active in the winter, they can carry diseases that can be transmitted to our pets as well as to humans. For your pet's flea and tick control, we recommend Bravecto.  Bravecto is a readily acceptable chewable tablet given once every three months. The average cost per day to prevent fleas and ticks on your dog is only .54 cents!

Links of Interest

Canine Heartworm

Why should I use Revolution on my cat?

Revolution is a topical product, applied monthly on the cat, usually on the neck or between the shoulder blades. Revolution provides protection from heartworm disease (transmitted by mosquitoes), roundworms, hookworms, fleas, ear mites and mange.

My cat is indoors only. Is Revolution recommended for indoors cats too?

Yes! As explained above, the vector for heartworm is mosquitoes, which are present year round. Approximately 25% of cats diagnosed with heartworm are indoor only cats!

Fleas and flea eggs can travel on another pet, or even on people’s shoes and clothes, and infest your home and your cat without much warning. An infestation can escalate quickly, and it can be difficult to eradicate. Regular application of Revolution will kill live fleas and interrupt the reproductive cycle of fleas, as well as prevent fleas from settling in your environment.

Revolution is also an effective parasiticide against intestinal roundworms and hookworms. It is important to be aware that many intestinal parasites of cats can also affect people, especially children. Preventing and treating intestinal worms with Revolution will greatly reduce risk of zoonotic infection for you and your family.

Lastly Revolution is an effective acaricide, and will kill and prevent ear mites and mange, which are common afflictions for cats.

Links of Interest

Feline Heartworm

Why does my dog need to be vaccinated against kennel cough?

“Kennel cough” refers to an infectious laryngitis/tracheitis complex, caused by a number of different bacterial and viral diseases, often acting together on the upper respiratory tract. Kennel cough is highly contagious, and is spread by exposure to other infected dogs, carrier dogs or contaminated shared environments. Signs of kennel cough include a dry hacking cough, sometimes mistaken for choking. If untreated, kennel cough can progress to pneumonia, especially in puppies and older dogs. Treatment consists of a course of antibiotics, and cough suppressants. Vaccination is the most effective weapon in prevention, and is usually very effective. We recommend vaccinating all dogs who anticipate exposure to kennels, groomers, busy dog parks and similar, and we do require an up-to-date kennel cough vaccine for any dog who stays at the Russell Animal Hospital for a procedure or for boarding.

Should I microchip my pet?

A microchip is a tiny transponder the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the skin, between shoulder blades. The microchip has identifying information within it and provides a level of protection in the event your pet is lost. The unique number of each microchip along with the pet owner’s information is registered within a national data base and can be accessed 24 hours a day. Most veterinary offices, shelters and emergency clinics have a microchip scanner to check for and read the microchip to identify the owner(s) of the presented animal.

Fraggle; a true story

On Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006, the Russell Animal Hospital received a call from a Florida Humane Society. They had a cat with a microchip from our practice and were looking for the owner. We looked up the microchip number and found that it belonged to one of our past employees who had moved to Florida. On Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006, Angela, the employee, called us. She had her cat back. Her cat, Fraggle, had been missing since April.

Please consider microchipping your cat. Even inside cats can get outside and disappear.

PS Microchipping is good for dogs, too!