From docsef’s desk- Parasite Prevention

Mayday. Mayday. Parasite Prevention is needed because heartworms, ticks, and fleas are headed our way!

I feel like in my last few blogs and now with this one, I am beating a dead horse.

However, the first sentence above really is true. Heartworms, ticks, and fleas are heading our way. No, they actually are already here.

Just this week:

  • I have diagnosed a dog with heartworms who has been on heartworm prevention for the last 10 months but was probably exposed prior to taking the prevention.
  • I have seen a dog infested with ticks who was not on tick prevention.  And I have had other owners tell me they have found ticks on their dog.
  • I have treated several cases of Flea Allergic Dermatitis that only results from a flea infestation.
  • Heck, I found a tick on myself this past weekend!

And these cases are just mine. Compound that with my colleagues within our practice, or my colleagues within Cabarrus County, or even my colleagues in the Charlotte region and the numbers will grow exponentially. And all the while, this doesn’t even include pets that haven’t been to a vet this spring!

So here are my recommendations:

  1. Have your dog tested for heartworms every year. Do this even if he is on heartworm prevention. (see the first bullet point above)
  2. Keep your dog and cat on heartworm prevention year-round. Please understand- there is not enough cold weather in Cabarrus County/Charlotte region to kill the mosquitoes (that spread heartworms) and other pests to warrant not protecting year-round. And understand that heartworm prevention also prevents intestinal parasites that also are unfazed by our mild winter temperatures.
  3. Stay on tick and flea prevention year-round! (see point two above about our so-called winters)
  4. Use products that have great safety data, are newer generation, and are proven to work. Need some suggestions? Here you go:

Heartworm Preventatives we at Foster Animal Hospital sell, recommend, and use on our pets:

Cats: Revolution- Prevents HW, intestinal worms, ear mites, fleas and flea eggs. 

Dogs: Proheart- 6 months injection that prevents HW and is guaranteed to prevent certain intestinal worms. ProHeart 6 Logo

Trifexis- monthly chewable for HW, intestinal worms, and fleas but NOT ticks. 

Interceptor Plus- monthly chewable for HW and intestinal worms. 


Flea and Tick Preventatives we at Foster Animal Hospital sell, recommend, and use on our pets:

Cats: Revolution- Prevents HW, intestinal worms, ear mites, fleas and flea eggs but not ticks. 

Cats: Bravecto Topical- Fleas and ticks that lasts 3 months. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Cats

Dogs: Bravecto Chewable- 3 month prevention of fleas and ticks. BRAVECTO pork flavor tasty chew

Vectra 3-D Topical- Fleas, flea eggs, ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, mites, and lice.

There are numerous products on the market. These are the current ones we sell at Foster Animal Hospital and Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons. Our staff is trained and more than happy to help you in your decision.

And I am a phone call or email away with any questions or concerns you may have!


All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027


Feline Heartworm Disease in Cats

For years it was believed that cats did not get heartworms. Over the last decade or so, we know this is not true. In fact, evidence and research show that Feline Heartworm Disease is more prevalent then Feline Leukemia Virus in cats. Further research shows that cats are only 10% less likely than dogs to be infected with heartworms. And furthermore, research shows there is no statistical difference for the development of Feline Heartworm Disease between indoor and outdoor cats.
Just like in dogs, Feline Heartworm Disease is spread by mosquitoes. In this area, mosquitoes are plentiful and will be even moreso in 2012 because of a very mild winter.
There are major differences in Feline Heartworm Disease when compared with dogs. There are not any fool-proof or very reliable tests to diagnose Feline Heartworm Disease. There are tests available, but they have flaws when used in cats. There are no treatments available to treat Feline Heartworms. In cats, Feline Heartworm Disease is more of a lung issue than a heart issue. The most common clinical signs are: chronic vomiting, coughing, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and sudden death. Many infected cats are asymptomatic. Many cats develop clinical signs as a reaction to the migrating larvae, in addition to the adult heartworms.
Therefore, in Feline Heartworm Disease, prevention is the best medicine. In my opinion, Feline Revolution is the absolute best product available to prevent Feline Heartworm Disease. Revolution is a once-a-month topical solution applied to the skin over the shoulder blades. In addition to preventing heartworms, Revolution is very effective against fleas and flea eggs, ear mites, and intestinal hookworms and roundworms. The recommendation is to use Revolution year round, even in indoor cats.
So remember:
Cat + Mosquito = RISK,
No statistical difference between indoor and outdoor cats,
Cats are virtually as susceptible as dogs,
There are no good diagnostic test or treatments,
Revolution is the best policy, you know, an ounce (tube) of prevention….
I hope this has been informative. Please call or email me with any questions or concerns. Until then…..
All The Best,
Steve Foster DVM, CCRT
Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.
Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons
Concord, NC 28027