Improve Your Pet’s Overall Health with Parasite Prevention
Aside from routine veterinary dentistry and check-ups, one of the best things you can do for your pet’s health is to keep them on a regular parasite prevention schedule.
Most people are familiar with heartworm disease and the importance of preventing it in our canine and feline friends. But did you know that other parasites can be just as harmful, if not more so?
Here’s a quick overview of the most common parasites affecting your pet and why preventing them is important.
What Are Parasites in Pets?
Parasites are organisms that live off of other host organisms for food and shelter. These creatures can come from other animals, the environment, or even your backyard. Pets can pick up parasites from contact with other animals, contaminated soil, or even infected fleas and ticks.
Two main types of parasites can affect your pet: internal and external. Internal parasites live inside your pet’s body and can cause various health problems. These parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia. In severe cases, they can even be fatal.
The most common internal parasites are:
External parasites include fleas, ticks, and mites. These organisms live on the surface of your pet’s skin and can cause irritation, skin infections, and even transmit diseases.
How Do I Prevent Parasites in My Pet?
The best way to prevent parasites is to keep your pet on a regular preventive treatment schedule. Your vet can help you pick the best product for your pet based on their individual needs.
For dogs, the most common preventive treatments are oral medications given monthly. These products kill existing parasites and prevent new ones from taking up residence in your dog’s body.
Topical spot-on treatments are also applied monthly to the back of your dog’s neck. These work by killing parasites that come into contact with your dog’s skin.
The most common preventive treatment for cats is an oral medication given monthly. These products kill existing parasites and prevent new ones from a residence in your cat’s body.
Topical spot-on treatments are also applied monthly to the back of your cat’s neck. They work by killing parasites that come into contact with your cat’s skin.
Ultimately, up-to-date and complete vaccinations and booster shots are the best way to prevent parasites in both dogs and cats. While vaccinations are not expensive, it becomes costly if these parasites are left untreated and lead to more serious diseases. If possible, consider getting a pet wellness plan that includes routine vaccinations, check-ups, parasite prevention, etc.
What Are the Risks of Not Preventing Parasites?
There are a number of risks associated with not preventing parasites in your pet. The most serious of these is the risk of disease transmission. Many parasites can transmit diseases to your pet that can be harmful or even fatal.
For example, heartworms can cause heart failure in dogs and cats, while roundworms can cause liver damage.
Another risk associated with not preventing parasites is the potential for anemia. Many parasites feed on your pet’s blood, leading to anemia if left unchecked. Anemia can cause weakness, lethargy, and in severe cases, death.
Finally, some parasites can be passed from animals to humans. This is known as zoonotic transmission and can pose a serious health risk to you and your family.
Some of the most common zoonotic parasites include:
- Scabies mites
What Are the Signs That My Pet Has Parasites?
There are many signs that your pet may have parasites. These include:
- Weight loss
- Poor coat condition
- Excessive scratching or biting
If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian for an examination as soon as possible. Make sure to visit your vet clinic or hospital’s website and check their page for testimonials and services.