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Get rid of those pesky parasites.


Your pet is an easy target for parasites and small insects. Common parasites like ticks, fleas, and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes feed on your pets, potentially infecting them with many dangerous diseases. Discover how these tiny pests can cause big problems.



Heartworm is a very serious and potentially deadly parasite that the veterinarian will discuss with you at their yearly exams. Heartworm is caused by Dirofilaria immitis. Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes’ that are infected. It is transmitted by mosquitoes. Any dog not on prevention is at risk for heartworm and also is putting other dogs at risk as well. It takes six months for the larvae to become adult heartworm their life span is about 5-7 years. No matter what the breed of your dog is they are still susceptible to infection. Heartworm infections can cause serious damage to both respiratory and cardiovascular systems that can lead to heart failure. In severe cases, dogs can be burdened with hundreds of 16-inch worms.

This is why we strongly recommend that all dogs be put on heartworm prevention year-round because even the mosquitoes that get into your home can carry the parasite and then can infect other dogs. There are a few different types of heartworm medications; some are chewable tablets, some look like treats, and then there are some that are topical - so there is an option for just about everyone.

Flea & Tick Prevention

Flea and tick prevention is just as important as heartworm prevention for many reasons. Living in New England ticks are a major problem and not just for our pets. They are an issue for us as well. Ticks carry lyme disease. There is no way to guarantee 100% of your pets won’t get ticks on them. The only thing you can do is to treat them with a flea and tick prevention as well as vaccinate them for lyme. Flea and tick prevention is not going to repel them it will kill them after they have bitten the animal. It can start working as early as 12 hours after applying but could take up to 24 hours.

Flea and tick medications should only be put on 2 days before or after a bath and directly on the skin. It needs the oils in the skin to spread the medication throughout the body.

Internal Parasites

Internal Parasites are a problem for not only your dog but for you and your family as well. There are parasites that can be passed from animals to people they are called Zoonotic. The most common zoonotic parasites are hookworms and roundworms. Children, the elderly, and immunocompromised people are at a higher risk to contract these parasites. Dogs get infected with these parasites by walking places where other dogs have defecated. The roundworm eggs and hookworm larvae get on the dog's paws; the dog licks his/her feet and infects him or herself if your dog licks his anus and then licks your child or if your child pets your dog; he or she can become infected with these parasites.

Cats can also get internal/intestinal parasites, as well as heartworm, even your indoor only cat. 

Parasite Prevention Plan

Ways to prevent the risk of spreading parasites to your children is to keep your dogs on monthly heartworm prevention all year round. Heartworm prevention helps to control the hookworms and roundworms as well as the heartworm. Clean the yard of all fecal matter once per week if not daily. Bring in a stool sample to the veterinarian at least twice per year. Make sure that your children know they should wash there hands after handling their pets.

Regular use of anti-parasitic medication is your best defense for keeping your pet parasite free. We recommend year-round parasite prevention; fluctuations in the New England climate can allow for a resurgence of parasite activity. It is a myth that parasite control is only needed in spring and summer. The best way to protect your pet from being exposed to intestinal parasites is to adopt a year-round regiment. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best parasite control products for your pets.


Contact Us

Holden Veterinary Clinic


11 Industrial Dr Holden, MA 01520

Clinic Hours

Monday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Sat-Sun: Closed