Bringing a new pet home can be an exciting time for you and your family. However, internal parasites are a serious issue that can occur within your new kitten or puppy. It is a good thing that our veterinarians and staff here at Fort Plain Animal Hospital are here to help you navigate the many options and products that can be used to help prevent and treat parasites in your pet.
Check out this list of common parasites and the potential side effects they can have on your pet:
Although tapeworms are not typically harmful to dogs, they can cause both irritation and weight loss. Dipylidium caninum is the most common tapeworm found in dogs and it is spread by fleas. Dogs can be treated for tapeworms via oral medications and injections.
Roundworms are extremely common parasites found in both cats and dogs. They can cause coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, malnourishment, stunted growth, and a “potbellied” appearance. Roundworms are usually spread via infective eggs and are treated via de-worming medications.
Giardia is a parasite that lives in the intestines of many creatures, including mammals, amphibians, and avians. Pets typically contract giardia by ingesting things contaminated by feces, including dirty water and grass. Diarrhea is the most common symptom and, although the chances are low, the parasite can be spread from animals to humans.
Hookworms are parasites that literally hook themselves to your pet’s intestines. They feed off their host’s blood vessels and intestinal lining which can cause itchy paws, stunted growth, weight loss, weakness, pale gums, diarrhea, severe anemia, and, sometimes, death. Because hookworms burrow through the skin, they can also cause eczema and secondary bacterial infections. Typically, hookworms are treated via de-worming medications.
Luckily, all of these parasites can be treated but prevention is, by far, the best course of action. Call us at (518) 993-3332 to schedule a preventative care appointment for your pet.