In Florida, especially, parasite prevention is paramount to having a healthy pet. Most intestinal parasites are not visible in the stool so a special fecal test and microscopic exam is needed to diagnose intestinal parasites. Treatment needs to be thorough and prevention is just as important to do after treatment or else your pet will become reinfected in most cases.
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and dogs can develop more and more heartworms with each mosquito bite. They grow up to a foot long and live in the heart and pulmonary blood vessels. They are easily prevented and diagnosed. Some dogs are diagnosed with heartworm disease before they show symptoms, others present to us in heart failure and very critical. Certainly, this is a disease that is much better to prevent then to have to treat.
Fleas are not just a nuisance but a disease-transmitting, anemia-causing parasite. These days, monthly prescription flea control products are very effective at treating fleas. They are a must for dogs with flea allergies and environmental allergies.