Intestinal parasites can be dangerous to your pet and some of them cannot be seen with the eye. Most of them are soil born and some are also zoonotic, meaning that they can be contracted by humans.
Left unchecked, these kinds of parasites can cause your pet to become ill and in severe cases could be fatal. Worm infestations can lead to heart and respiratory failure or inhibit your pet’s ability to absorb nutrients from their food.
When you adopt a new puppy, it’s always important to have a thorough exam done by Dr. Whitworth. One of the things he will test for is the presence of intestinal parasites. The most common parasite found in puppies is round worms. Other parasites may also be present, but they’re not as common.
Symptoms of a Problem
Symptoms of parasite infestation are dull coat, weight loss, listlessness and diarrhea. However, signs may not become evident for some time. Simply keeping them on monthly prevention and bi-annual parasite checks with Dr. Whitworth can keep your pet free of such dangerous parasites such as whipworms, hookworms and roundworms.
Cats can get a variety of intestinal parasites. Roundworms are the most common internal parasites in cats, but they can also be infected by hookworms and tapeworms. Cats who reside mostly outdoors are at greater risk of developing internal parasites, however indoor cats can be exposed also especially when bringing in potted plants during the winter that have been outside during the summer months.
Symptoms of Parasite Infestation in Dogs & Cats
- Worms visible in stool
- Bloody stool
- Bloating or round, potbellied appearance to abdomen
- Weight loss
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitos. It is a parasite and occurs primarily in dogs but can occur in cats and other animals on rare occasions. Heartworm disease is spread when a female heartworm releases her young into an infected animal’s blood stream. Then a mosquito ingests blood from the infected animal and picks up the female heartworms off spring, called microfilariae. In the next 12 to 14 days the microfilariae develop into infected larvae while inside the mosquito. When the mosquito bites another animal, the larva inters into the blood stream and migrates to the right side of the heart where they eventually develop into adult worms. Sometimes a dog or cat may have heartworms but show no symptoms until the disease is well advanced.
Treatment of Heartworm
Treating the heartworm infected animal is very costly. It is a long and delicate process requiring exercise restriction and confinement. Recovery time can take months to complete. Heartworm prevention is a much safer and economical way to avoid heartworm disease. Several options are available at Whitworth Animal Clinic including an oral monthly prevention or in an injectable form that last for 6 months. Annual testing is required to refill any type of heartworm prevention. Talk with Dr. Whitworth to make sure your pet is protected against the deadly heartworm disease.
Preventative health care provided by Whitworth Animal Clinic is your best bet in keeping your pet parasite free. Our offices offer virtually every service that any pet needs to remain happy and healthy throughout all the years of their lives. Call today and we will make sure your pet is parasite free.