Maintaining Your Pet’s Health: Parasite Control
Parasites are an undetected threat to your dog or cat’s health. This is why prevention is an essential part of your pet’s wellness plan. The experienced staff at Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital create personalized examinations and treatment schedules for your pet’s specific needs.
The parasites which can infect your dog or cat are divided into two general groups; external and internal. External parasites include fleas, ticks, and mites. These not only cause skin irritation but transmit internal types of parasites as well. Also known as worms. Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and heartworms affect both cats and dogs. Dogs are also susceptible to whipworms and non-worm parasites such as Coccidia, Giardia, and Spirochetes.
Symptoms of an internal parasite infection develop slowly. General signs include vomiting, coughing, weight loss, diarrhea, lethargy, dull fur, and appearance. You may notice worms in feces or whitish segments in tapeworm cases. Both can be found in feces or near the anus. Heartworm infection in dogs doesn’t produce symptoms until later stages. By then, the animal will exhibit fatigue, coughing, weight loss, difficulty exercising, or student death. This is why heartworm prevention is imperative. Unlike dogs, cars are not a natural host for heartworms. Worms do not live a long time in felines. However, those that do survive can cause serious problems.
For puppies and kittens, a fecal analysis should be done two to four times a year. Adult pets should have screening once or twice per year. However, even with a fecal test, evidence of internal parasites isn’t always visible. This is why Andes-Straley utilizes microscope analysis in its house in-house laboratory. We’ll also run any appropriate blood tests, as well as assess the function of your dog or cat’s internal organs. Your veterinarian will recommend any routine dewormers needed or prescribe medication for severe infections. Most importantly, bringing your dog or cat in for regular treatment guards against re-infestation.
Parasites can do a lot of damage in the time it takes for symptoms to appear. At Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital, we’ll create a customized plan to protect your dog or cat from parasitic infections. Contact us today to set your pet on the road to a lifetime of health. Parasite control is important, so let us handle it for you today!