Parasite Prevention in Tewksbury, MA

At Shawsheen Animal Hospital, we believe that annual testing and prevention are essential when it comes to protecting your pet from fleas, ticks and other parasites. These parasites can transmit serious illness and disease to your pet that can then be passed on to your human family as well. With annual testing, our team can stay up to date on your pet’s health and diagnose any issues that may arise due to parasites.

To help protect your pet and your wallet, we also offer savings on monthly preventative medication. You can save $20 instantly when you buy 6 doses of Credelio and Interceptor Plus or save $60 when you buy 12 doses.

Call Shawsheen Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment with our team today!

Common Pet Parasites

Parasite prevention is important, but what are parasites? There are a few main types of parasites in Tewksbury, MA that can affect pets in various ways. Fortunately, our team can recommend appropriate monthly preventatives and help prevent serious illness or disease from affecting your dog or cat. These types of parasites include:

Intestinal Parasites

The eggs of intestinal parasites can affect any pet and don’t always show outward symptoms of infection. In addition, they can be tracked into your home on your shoes or clothes and possibly infect humans as well as pets. Our team usually sees roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and giardia which are very common in Tewksbury. This makes annual testing key to keeping your pet happy and healthy.

External Parasites

Fleas and ticks are common external parasites that can affect dogs, cats, and other mammals. Pets may be exposed to parasites through their environment (backyards, patios, dog parks, walks) or through other infected animals. These parasites can cause more mild symptoms such as allergies, hair loss, and skin infection, or more serious disease including Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. Fleas and ticks can affect humans as well, which makes consistent monthly preventatives even more important. Our team can provide assistance in treating and preventing fleas and protecting your pet.


Heartworms are a potentially deadly parasite transmitted by mosquitos. Possible symptoms include coughing, low energy, reluctance to exercise and even sudden death. Annual testing and monthly prevention are essential to providing early detection and helping to prevent heartworms from affecting your pet.

Common Heartworm FAQs

Heartworms are parasitic roundworms that may not initially cause any visible symptoms. As the infection progresses, pets may exhibit weight loss, lack of interest in food, experience breathing problems and possibly heart failure.

Mosquitos are the most common source of heartworm disease, however, not all mosquitos carry the infection. If a mosquito bites an infected animal, it can spread the disease to another. Pets cannot directly spread heartworms to one another, but bringing in your pet for annual testing and regularly administering heartworm prevention medication is the best way to ensure all pets in the household are protected.

Yes, both dogs and cats can be infected by heartworm.

Dogs may not show any initial symptoms when they are first infected. As the disease progresses, the following signs may develop:

  • Mild coughing
  • Fatigue after moderate activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unwillingness to exercise
  • Weight loss

Initially, cats may not exhibit any symptoms at all. Some signs to look out for include:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss

The most common way to diagnose heartworm disease is to perform a blood test to evaluate for the heartworm antigen. It’s possible that a blood test may not detect an infection because the infection isn’t producing a substantial amount of the antigen. In this case, additional testing may be administered to confirm a diagnosis.

The best protection is prevention. Ensure your pet receives regular monthly prevention medication to maximize their protection against heartworms and any other parasite.

To help keep mosquitos away from your pets, use screens, or keep windows and doors closed, and reduce any stagnant water nearby.

There are several illnesses and disease that can be passed from pets to their human family and seriously affect both. These diseases are considered zoonotic, meaning they can be passed from one species to another. Two of the most common zoonotic diseases are rabies and leptospirosis.

All pets are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies as it is the deadliest disease in the world with a 99.95% mortality rate. This viral disease is spread through saliva, typically through biting, and although it is treatable, the survival rate is dangerously slim. Ensuring your pets are vaccinated against this disease is the best form of protection.

Leptospirosis is highly contagious and usually spread through the urine of infected wild animals. If your pet encounters infected soil, food, or water, they can easily become very sick. Symptoms for humans and pets include muscle aches, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and, if left untreated, kidney failure and death. We highly recommend this vaccine if your pet spends time outdoors to protect your two legged and four legged family members.

Prevention is the best way to protect your pets and your human family against any diseases caused by parasites. Please ensure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations and make certain they are regularly receiving monthly preventative medications to keep your entire family happy and healthy.

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