MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Even if your dog doesn’t run through the woods, or in fields, they can still get bitten by mosquitos or tics.

Dr. Jean Geske is the Medical Director at VCA Bloomington Veterinary Hospital.

“The animals that run through pets’ backyard that actually can drop the flees, drop tics, bring them into the environment,” Geske said. “So all those things have brought in parasites into the metro area.”

She said you should use preventative measures against heart worm and other problems in both dogs and cats.

She said the disease can be treated after it is found in dogs, but it is best to catch it early. For cats it is harder to treat after it has been found.

“We do not have a treatment for our cats,” she said.  “It takes a little different pathology, or different type of disease process, and it causes more problems in their lungs than it does in the heart,” she said.

Geske recommends using the preventative medicine for both indoor and outdoor cats.

Other questions that came up on WCCO Radio with Steve Thompson included when to spade or neuter cats and dogs.

“Some kittens and puppies are spade or neutered at seven, eight, nine weeks of age,” she said. “And the outcome has not completely addressed.”

More research is needed to find out if it could cause more illness down the road.

With that being said, she said over-population is a huge issue.

“It’s a hard battle,”  she said.

If you buy from a breeder, it’s usually done at about six months old.