Our hospital offers guidance on a number of parasite control programs. The most common parasites that afflict pets are fleas and ticks.
Fleas and ticks are capable of transmitting infection and disease to pets through a bite. Many pets also suffer from a severe allergic reaction to the bites of fleas and ticks. It is imperative that you use one of the many commercially available products that protect pets from these parasites in order to maintain your pet's health. Do use caution when purchasing over the counter products, as contraindications (or lists of medications that cannot be given together) aren’t always easy to find.
Other common parasites that afflict pets are intestinal parasites, often referred to as “worms”. Unfortunately, many of the common intestinal parasites are zoonotic (transferable to people). Some are easily visible in the stool, but some are microscopic and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Do rest assured, however, there are several options available to keep you and your family safe! Many prescription heartworm preventatives also protect your pet from some intestinal parasites. Our staff and veterinarians can help you choose the correct product (or products) based you your pet’s risk factors and health status.
Because of the damages posed by intestinal parasites to both pets and people, all dogs and cats should have at least one fecal examination per year to check for intestinal parasites (e.g., roundworms, hookworms, Giardia). In some parts of the country where intestinal parasites are known to be more prevalent, several fecal exams per year are recommended.
If you travel with your pet, it's important to consider what diseases and parasites might be common at your destination location that may not be a serious concern at home. Speak with your veterinarian about you and your pet’s lifestyle and get the option that’s best for you.