Parasite control is an important part of preventive care for your pet. Parasites like fleas, ticks, roundworms, and heartworms can be easy to prevent but if infected, can cause serious illnesses and even death in pets.
For example, fleas can transmit tapeworm, and ticks can transmit Lyme disease. Heartworms are caused by an infected mosquito biting your pet, leading to worms that live in your pet’s lungs and heart, causing serious damage to these organs. Some diseases are zoonotic – meaning that they are transmittable to humans – such as roundworms and hookworms, and can be diagnosed with a simple fecal test. The veterinarians and staff at Oakdale Veterinary Group promote preventive medicine, as it can easily save the life of your pet.
If your pet is infected with a parasite, you may be able to see the parasites, but in some cases, you may not notice until your pet begins to show clinical signs such as diarrhea, hair loss, or lethargy. In other cases, your pet may not show any signs of illness at all.
Fortunately, there are many preventive medications available for parasites, and the veterinarians and staff at Oakdale Veterinary Group are here to prescribe or recommend medications available to protect your pets and family. Our diagnostics are also available at annual examinations or as part of our wellness plans, in order to detect these parasites, preventing additional problems or pain for your pet. Call us at (209) 847-2257 to find out more about preventive medicine for your pet.
The risk to humans
- Common roundworms, hookworms, Giardia and Cryptosporidium are all transmittable to humans and can cause allergies, gastrointestinal problems, or even organ damage.
- Leptospirosis, although uncommon, can affect dogs and humans resulting in kidney failure and even death.
- Rabies is a viral infection that affects all mammals and will results in death without prompt treatment.
Children, because of their play habits and love for pets, are particularly at risk for infection, making parasite prevention in pets all the more important.
To best control parasites in your cat or dog, we recommend a minimum once yearly examination of your pet’s stool. If a test result is positive we will prescribe the appropriate medication. In high parasite regions, several tests a year are indicated. In some regions, pets of all ages should be dewormed every 3 to 4 months with a veterinarian-approved deworming medication. We’ll advise you.
- Flea control in dogs and cats can help prevent tapeworms.
- Minimize contact with the feces of other pets.
- Do not allow your pet to drink brackish or standing water.
- Clean up your pet’s stool on a regular basis.
- No pet is safe from parasites
- Young and/or outdoor pets are particularly at risk.
- Prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential. Many parasites are easy to prevent and treat
- Safe, proven medications can help prevent some types of GI parasites.
- Routine, periodic testing is important
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask one of our team members,
Oakdale Veterinary Group.