FORT WORTH, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 05/01/15 -- Virbac announces a parasite awareness initiative with its newly acquired broad-spectrum parasite prevention medication, SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® (milbemycin oxime -- lufenuron -- praziquantel). Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)(i), the safe and effective once-monthly oral medication is a soft beef-and-bacon flavored chewable that is effective against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and fleas in dogs(ii).
SENTINEL SPECTRUM is the only product that is effective in dogs against all six of these parasites, making parasite protection for dogs more convenient and comprehensive than ever before. Until now, the only way to keep dogs safe from all six of these parasites was to use multiple preventatives or treatments.
Sadly, millions of dogs are still unprotected
Among these six parasites, heartworms are the most dreaded. "Heartworm disease is now found in every state in the U.S.(iii), and it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to spread the disease to your pet," notes Dr. Stephen Jones, veterinarian and president of the American Heartworm Society. "Unfortunately, there are still millions of pet owners who don't give their pets heartworm preventatives, and we estimate there are one million pets that have this potentially deadly disease. This is a reminder to have our pets tested annually and to give heartworm prevention year round."
Spring has arrived and so have parasites
Warm weather draws families outdoors for gardening, hiking, camping, picnicking, and other activities. While it's easy to see flowers blooming, parasites are virtually invisible, emerging in full force during this time, but remaining a year-round threat.
Here's what every dog owner needs to know about these six parasites:
1) Heartworms: Life-threatening, these worms are transmitted by mosquitoes that have bitten an infected dog. Heartworms can grow as long as a foot within a dog's heart and lungs. If left untreated, heartworms can live for years in dogs and build to several hundred worms, causing organ damage, pain, and death. Foxes, coyotes, wolves and even sea lions also can have heartworm disease and be reservoirs(iv). See this video to understand how dogs are infected: Heartworm video.
2) Hookworms: Hookworm eggs are deposited in the soil from the feces of an infected pet. Larvae (young hookworms) that hatch from hookworm eggs live in the soil and can infect dogs simply through contact and penetration of the pads of a dog's feet and through dogs eating them when they ingest dirt. Hookworms attach to the intestinal lining where they feed on blood. In young or weak animals, hookworms can cause sudden collapse and even death(v).
3) Roundworms: Roundworms are the most common worms found in dogs. Roundworms can be passed from a mother dog to her puppy through her milk. They also can be transmitted when dogs eats larvated eggs from the environment or ingest the tissue of a mouse or another small mammal with larvae present. Dogs with roundworms may have no symptoms, or they may have diarrhea, vomiting, or coughing if the roundworms travel to the lungs(vi).
4) Whipworms. Shaped like whips, these small, thin worms live in the cecum, which is inside your dog's body where the small intestine and large intestine meet. Whipworms can cause anemia and bloody diarrhea, and severe infections can even cause death. Difficult to diagnose, whipworms are transmitted from ingestion of infective eggs, generally via infected feces or soil contaminated with feces from an infected dog(vii).
5) Tapeworms: There are several species of tapeworms that can infect dogs. Tapeworms are long flat worms that attach to the intestines and grow in segments. As the segments drop off, what appear to be grains of rice can appear in a dog's in your dog's feces, or where they live and sleep(viii). Tapeworms typically don't cause any obvious symptoms in dogs, but most people don't want their dogs infected.
6) Fleas: By the time one flea reveals itself on a dog, there is probably already a flea infestation in the home. That means immature fleas, eggs, larvae, and pupae are living in bedding, carpets, furniture -- even between floorboards of hardwood flooring(ix). Adult fleas on a pet are just the tip of the iceberg, as all the other flea stages live in the environment. To control fleas, you must stop them from reproducing(x).
To learn more about these and other parasites, visit PetsAndParasites.com.
Ingredients proven in both clinical studies and real-world use
Unlike some new products that are formulated with entirely new ingredients, SENTINEL SPECTRUM contains active ingredients that have been proven safe and effective both in clinical studies and through years of real-world use in millions of dogs. Available by prescription from veterinarians, SENTINEL SPECTRUM is labeled for dogs and puppies six weeks of age and older and 2 pounds or greater.
"I feel confident prescribing SENTINEL SPECTRUM for my canine patients, not only because the ingredients have a long-standing history of safety and efficacy, but also because I see the positive results it has on the quality of life of my canine patients and their owners," says Dr. I. Craig Prior, a practicing veterinarian and owner of Murphy Road Animal Hospital in Nashville, Tenn.
Learn more about parasites in your area
Want to learn about the threat of specific parasites in your area? The Companion Animal Parasite Council offers incidence maps that pinpoint the prevalence of parasites down to the county level throughout the U.S. Visit here.
To view the full SENTINEL SPECTRUM product insert, click here: SENTINEL SPECTRUM label. Dogs should be tested for heartworm prior to use. Mild hypersensitivity reactions have been noted in some dogs carrying a high number of microfilariae. Treatment with fewer than six monthly doses after the last exposure to mosquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention.
(i) NADA #141-333, Approved by FDA
(ii) Prevents flea eggs from hatching; Is not an adulticide.
(iii) The American Heartworm Society
(ix) Dryden M, MacDonald J, Hnilica K, et al. 2005 Guidelines: Flea Control on Dogs and Cats
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