The Basics of Heartworm and Tick Prevention

As summer approaches, one thing all pet owners dread is the arrival of pesky bugs and parasites that can have harmful effects on the health of their furry friend. While nothing replaces the expert advice of your trusted vet in Cannon Falls, MN, here are some things you can do to protect your pet during heartworm and tick season.


Both dogs and cats are susceptible to heartworm disease, which is caused by parasitic worms that affect the lungs, heart and blood vessels of pets. If the condition isn’t treated right away, it can potentially be fatal. Keep heartworm parasites from infecting your pets by keeping them away from mosquitoes as much as possible. Remove standing water in your yard, and keep pets indoors during times when mosquito activity is highest.

You should test your pets yearly for heartworm, since early detection is the only way to minimize damage from the disease. Heartworm medication is always recommended as a preventative measure. We recommend Sentinel Heartworm medication.  Most heartworm pills are given once a month, so it’s an easy way to ensure your pet is protected all year round. Many of these medications also prevent problems from other parasites, including tapeworms, and also protect against other pesky warm-weather pests like fleas and ticks.


Ticks can carry diseases that are harmful to both pets and humans alike. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis are just a few of the dangers that can be transferred by a tick bite. The worst part about many of these illnesses is that the symptoms are very mild until the disease has progressed to a late, more-harmful stage. Dogs are especially susceptible to tick bites and tickborne illnesses, which is why it’s important to take preventative steps to keep dogs from getting a bite from a tick or bringing ticks into your house.

Keeping ticks away from your pets involves taking preventative measures. As always, talk to your vet in Cannon Falls, MN about the best prevention products for your pet. We recommend Advantix to keep ticks from attaching to your dog without harming their health. There are also some proactive steps you can take to reduce the chances that a tick bite will make your dog very ill. Perform a daily check for ticks and remove them as soon as you see them. You can also reduce tick habitats in your yard by applying approved pesticides and keeping the yard tidy.

If you have cats and are concerned about ticks, remember that cats are extremely sensitive to a wide array of chemicals. Always consult your preferred veterinarian before applying any tick prevention products to cats. We recommend Advantage for your cats.

Heartworm and ticks pose major problems to the health of your pets. If you want to keep your furry friend as healthy as possible during the summer months, it’s best to consult your vet in Cannon Falls, MN. Contact Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd. to learn more about keeping your pets free from the threat of pests and illness during the summer months.