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How To Protect Your Pet From Parasites

Вщп Зфкфышеуы

Both people and pets should get a yearly physical. The time and money you spend at the vet making sure your dog or cat is protected from pet parasites will be worth it in the long run.  Any type of health problem left untreated is going to progress, some to the point of being life threatening for your pet, and sometimes your family.

  Some parasites can pass from pets to people, just another reason to detect and treat early.

What’s Out There?

There are many different parasites that can infect your fur baby.  Your vet is an invaluable resource in keeping your pet healthy, so don’t skimp on preventative exams or treatments.

The most common intestinal parasites are broadly classified as “worms.”  This broad category covers severalintestinal parasites.  Roundworms and tafpeworms are the only ones that can be detected with the naked eye.

Most dogs will suffer with, and need to be treated for, worms during their lifetime.  Puppies are especially susceptible, and as such need to be de-wormed early and often.  Check with your vet for advice on how often and how long to administer preventative treatment.

Roundworms

Many puppies and kittens are born with roundworm larvae in their tissues that pass from the mother’s uterus to the babies in the womb.  Another point of introduction is the mother’s milk.  The roundworms then migrate to the intestines and begin to lay eggs.

The eggs pass from the body in the stool where they can infect other animals, should the stool be eaten.  Once the eggs hatch, the larvae migrate to the lungs where they are coughed up and swallowed, and make their way to the intestines to start the cycle all over.

Roundworm larvae can also infect an animal through eggs that get shed into the water they drink.  It is important to keep your dog’s living area clear of feces to minimize the chance of re-infection.  Roundworms also pose a danger to humans.  Always wear gloves when dealing with feces and never allow children to play in an area where your dog has defecated.

Hookworms

Hookworms are seen more often in dogs than cats and can pass to puppies in the same way as roundworms.  Hookworms also live in the intestines and eggs can pass to the environment through the feces.  Once outside the body, the eggs hatch and live in the soil where they are able to infect other animals.  The larvae can pass through the skin or be ingested when the animal eats something that may have dirt on it, or when licking the fur.

Hookworms attach to the intestinal wall and suck blood.  One sign of hookworms is bloody diarrhea.  Sometimes blood loss from hookworms can be very serious, requiring blood transfusions to try and stabilize your pet, but even then the condition can be fatal.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms usually do not cause symptoms, but the end segments of the worm, that are released in the feces and look like grains of rice, can be seen in the dog’s fur or feces.  Tapeworms are spread by host species such as fleas or mice.  When your pet ingests these hosts, the tapeworms make their way to the intestines to start the cycle over.

Prevention and Treatment

Some heartworm treatments also work to prevent other types of worms.  Prevention is always the best solution, but there are effective treatments available if your pet contracts intestinal parasites.  Talk with your vet to discuss various treatments available and visit once or twice a year for a checkup and testing to make sure your fur baby stays happy and healthy.  Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 

 

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