Essentials PetCare News

Ringworm in Pets

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the top layers of skin and hair. It is highly contagious to humans, specifically to children, elderly people and anyone with a compromised immune system. If you suspect your pet has ringworm, please seek veterinary treatment immediately.

Ringworm is zoonotic, which means that it’s a type of infection that can be transferred from animals to humans. If you know your pet or another person has ringworm, please avoid the following:

  • Skin-to-skin contact
  • Sharing clothing, towels or sports gear
  • Contact with infected household items like brushes, clothing, towels and furniture

It may be difficult to observe mild ringworm symptoms in pets, and you may not notice anything at all. For more severe cases, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Dandruff-like scaling in the coat
  • Red lesions on the head, chest, forelegs and ridge of the back
  • Scaling, crusting, thickening and reddening of the skin
  • Patches of hair loss on fur

If you have any questions about ringworm or notice any of the above symptoms, please bring your pet in for a skin exam immediately.

Distemper in Racoons in Florida

Pasco County Animal Control has recently responded to six reports of sick raccoons carrying both rabies and distemper virus. Since November, there has been a significant increase in these sick or injured animals. These reports all came from highly populated areas on the west side of Pasco County.

Humans and pets are at risk of contracting rabies, especially if your pet has not been vaccinated. Residents should avoid contact with wildlife, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans. Distemper is often fatal, with low survival rates in dogs. Distemper symptoms are similar to rabies symptoms.

To report animal bites or scratches, sick or injured animals and stray dogs or cats, please contact Pasco County Animal Services at the following numbers:

  • 727-834-3216
  • 813-929-1212
  • 352-521-5194

Essentials PetCare offers complete canine vaccination packages to protect your dog against diseases like Distemper. Visit our services page for more information and pricing.

February is Heart(Worm) Month

Heartworm is a nasty disease affecting our pets, and mosquitoes transmit it from pet to pet. As the name suggests, heartworms live in the heart, and they can also thrive in the lungs and blood vessels. Because they constrict blood flow, they can damage internal organs and cause lung disease and heart failure.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) advises twice-a-year testing for dogs living in areas known to have an abundance of mosquitos and active heartworm disease. If your dog has missed any doses of prevention, it is especially important to test regularly.

We re-test in six months because heartworms must be approximately six months old before an infection can be diagnosed. Catching heartworm disease early is much safer for pets and easier to treat.

Our heartworm test at Essentials PetCare is only $20! View our services page for more information and stop by to get your pet tested today.



Information sourced from the Heartworm Society

Why Your Pet Needs A Rabies Vaccine

Pet Rabies Vaccines

Even if you have pets, chances are you don’t think about rabies much—after all, most dogs and cats are required by law to be vaccinated and because of that, the disease is not as widespread or common as it used to be in the U.S.

However, rabies is still very much a danger: back in November, a kitten found in New Port Richey tested positive for the disease, which has a staggering 99.95% mortality rate if untreated. It’s also highly contagious and zoonotic, which means it can be transmitted from animals to humans. A 6 year-old boy in Orlando just passed away earlier this week after contracting rabies from a bat. If you are ever exposed to an unknown or wild animal, especially bats, please seek medical attention immediately.

Essentials PetCare offers a 1 or 3-year rabies vaccine and veterinarian’s exam for only $33. For an even better value, choose our Full Canine or Feline Vaccine package, which include all recommended core immunizations and start at just $65 for dogs and $62 for cats.

Click here for more information on our vaccine packages, or drop in for vaccinations seven days a week inside the Port Richey Walmart.

New Year, New Pet? We Have Vaccines!

Puppy and Kitten Vaccine Plans

Did you get a new bundle of furry joy over the holidays? We can help you make sure your new pet gets off on the right paw with our Puppy and Kitten Vaccine Packages!

Puppies and kittens need a series of vaccinations to be fully protected from various diseases that could be deadly to young animals. Puppies and kittens also commonly have intestinal parasites which may be transmissible to humans. These parasites are especially dangerous for children and adults with suppressed immune systems. Essentials PetCare offers an intestinal parasite test for only $20 with any vaccine visit. This reference lab test has the ability to identify parasites that may be missed by less comprehensive in-house testing.

For more information on our Puppy and Kitten Vaccine Packages, click here, or give us a call at 727-478-0936.