Did you know that some pathogenic parasites your pet could be exposed to can be transmitted to humans?
Intestinal worms and other pathogenic parasites can be found in the environment all around us every day. Even pets who live indoors can become exposed to harmful parasites by soil tracked indoors on shoes, exposure to fleas or the ingestion of an infected host (such as a beetle or cricket).
Because it is possible for an animal to be infected with parasites, and not show any symptoms, routine testing is very important for early detection. Using testing and preventative medication can help keep your pet healthy and parasite free! In order for your pet to be fully protected, consistent use of preventative medication is necessary.
Some of the most common intestinal parasites include:
* Heartworms - All pets are vulnerable to heartworm disease. Adult heartworms reside (as the name suggest) in the heart of their host. When they reach maturity, they release larvae into the host’s bloodstream. These minute heartworm larvae are then transmitted to new host animals by mosquitos, who feed upon an infected host and then carry on the contaminated blood to a new animal. Once the larvae have entered their new host’s bloodstream, they begin to travel towards the heart where they will establish themselves and begin to develop into mature heartworms – thus beginning the whole cycle anew. Treatment for Heartworm Disease is both costly and painful for canine patients – and there is no treatment available for felines.
* Roundworms - Roundworms can either be contracted when your pet ingests roundworm eggs directly, or through consuming an infected host animal. Pregnant mothers who are infected can also pass the parasites onto their young through their bloodstream or nursing. Animals suffering from roundworms may experience constipation, vomiting or diarrhea.
* Hookworms - Hookworms are a type of intestinal parasite which attach themselves to the small intestines. Your pet could become infected if they consume the larvae or have skin contact with the penetrating larvae.
* Tapeworms -Tapeworms are most commonly transmitted by fleas. When a cat or dog nips at irritates sites where the fleas are feeding, they can sometimes ingest the fleas themselves. When the fleas are harboring tapeworms within their bodies, the worms become imbedded within the animal who has consumed them.
* Whipworms - Whipworms are one of the parasitic worms an animal may be infected with, without showing symptoms. Whipworms can be contracted either through direct ingestion of
the larvae, or through exposure to contaminated soil. Animals infected with whipworm may show signs of diarrhea, weight loss and anemia.
Preventative medication is very important for keeping your pet safe and healthy. We offer a number of different parasite preventions to help protect your family. Together, you and your veterinarian can develop a parasite prevention routine that best meets your pet’s specific protection needs!