Parasites can create havoc in your pet. Not only can they cause sickness in your pet, but in some cases can become fatal. Heartworm, Lyme disease, and advanced intestinal parasites can become deadly if left untreated. Most of the common parasites are fully preventable with regular preventative medication. Below, let's take an in depth look at the many types of parasites, the way they are spread, and how your veterinarian can help.
What Types of Parasites Can My Pet Get?
By definition, a parasite is an organism that lives on another species and uses that species’ nutrients to live. In the case of pets, parasites are usually insects or worms. There are several different types of intestinal worms that are commonly found in cats and dogs. These can include hook worm, round worm, whip worm, and tapeworm. Heartworm, another common parasite, resides in the animal's heart. Insects, such as ticks and fleas, are other common parasites and stay on the pet's skin.
How Does My Pet Get Parasites?
Parasites are transmitted various ways depending on the type of parasite. Many intestinal parasites are transferred from animal to animal through infected stool. These parasites can also be transferred through contaminated soil through tiny parasitic eggs living in the soil. If your pet ingests the contaminated matter your pet may become infected. Heartworm is transmitted through mosquitos. A mosquito can bite an infected animal, sucking up heartworm larvae, and transmit them to the next animal through another mosquito bite. Fleas and ticks can infect your cat or dog through contact with the insect. These can be found in nature, in the home, or from other animals.
What Type of Preventative Medicines Are Available?
Luckily, preventative medicine is available for many of the common parasites. Most of the preventatives are available as a monthly dose administered to your pet. This can be a chewable tablet or a liquid medicine applied to the skin. Flea and tick medicated collars are available and can help prevent parasites for up to 90 days.
How Can My Veterinarian Help?
Your veterinarian will be able to run some simple blood tests to first confirm that your pet does not have any parasites. If your pet tests positive, there are several treatment options available to eliminate the parasite from the body. Working together with your veterinarian, you will be able to pick the right preventative parasite medicine for your pet.
If you are looking for an animal hospital to learn more about parasite prevention, Tierrasanta Veterinary Hospital may be the right choice for you. Our team of veterinarians is professional, knowledgeable, and passionate about helping animals. Our office is conveniently located at 10799 Tierrasanta Blvd, San Diego, California, 92124. We are always accepting new patients in CA so call us today at (858) 292-6116 to schedule an appointment.