Parasite Prevention and Control
The importance of parasites and parasite control may or may not be understood to many pet owners. Parasites can cause a variety of health concerns in animals, from mild symptoms to serious health concerns, even cause death. In addition to the illness that they cause, parasites can transmit diseases to other animals and even humans. For example, ticks can transmit Lyme disease or Erlichia. Both can cause serious health problems for animals as well as humans.
Most people are aware of the issues and frustration that external parasites can cause. When you see a flea or a tick, you are suddenly aware that your pet has a parasite by visualization, often you don’t see them at all but your pet exhibits behavior such as itching, biting or chewing on themselves. You administer the monthly preventative/ treatment and don’t give it another thought until the next dose is due. As troublesome as fleas are, it’s what you don’t see that can cause a serious problem. Internal parasites pose a real concern. The most common parasites within this category include heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Heartworms are one of the most important concerning parasites that reside internally. Heartworms are transmitted to dogs and cats through the bite of an infected mosquito. Adult heartworms mainly live in the major blood vessels of the heart and lungs. Immature heartworms circulate throughout the blood vessels in the rest of the body.
An animal with intestinal parasites may or may not be symptomatic. An animal’s stool that changes from the norm when nothing has been changed, such as abrupt diet changes, ingestion of garbage… may be the first symptom of an intestinal parasite infection. Intestinal parasites are acquired by the ingestion of grass, soil or stool that has the eggs of the parasite on them. There are many reasons why the eggs are present, most often is when another animal that has the parasite, passes stool in the environment that then after raining, or slowly over time, breaks down, and leaves behind the eggs. When an animal comes along and makes contact with these eggs, they can become infected with the parasite. Some eggs can survive for years in the environment. Therefore, continuous protection through monthly preventative is essential.
Some of these parasites are considered a zoonotic disease. Which simply means these parasites may be transferred to humans. Even more reason to take parasite control seriously.
Veterinary examinations and parasite testing are important ways to protect your pet’s health. Let our knowledgeable staff provide you with a comprehensive parasite control program. We can recommend a schedule for parasite testing, discuss what signs of parasites you can look for at home, review ways to control parasites in and around your home, discuss treatment options if you pet has parasites, and recommend ways to control and prevent parasites in the future. Parasites are not just a nuisance, they can carry serious diseases that affect your pet’s overall health and longevity. Let us help you protect your pet.
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You want the best for your pet and from the moment you enter State Line Animal Hospital, you and your pet will receive the best care possible. We help you care for your pet by offering quality veterinary services through a team of friendly, knowledgeable, and caring individuals.