Heartworms! Fleas! Ticks! Intestinal parasites!
All these “little” things can cause big problems for your pet!
Heartworms are spread through mosquito bites and individual worms can grow up to 14 inches long inside your dog or cat’s heart. Infection with this parasite can result in severe heart disease, systemic illness and, if untreated, can lead to death.
Recently infected pets may exhibit no signs of the disease, while those with a more chronic infection and/or a heavy worm load may show clinical signs which can include mild to severe coughing, lethargy, exercise intolerance, inappetence, vomiting, respiratory distress and/or sudden death.
Ingestion of fleas can lead to tapeworms. These long, flat segmented worms are intestinal parasites that can be diagnosed by the presence of segments (proglottids). These can appear in your pet’s feces as small “grains of rice” or flattened “cucumber seeds”. These segments may also attach to the fur around the “rear end”.
Ticks can pose a great danger to our pets and us! Preying on the blood of dogs, cats, horses, deer, birds, rodents and people, ticks can transmit a variety of diseases. These include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis (rickettsial infections).
There are many intestinal parasites that can infect your pet such as tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, Giardia and coccicia. Intestinal parasites cause vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia, and many other detrimental conditions. They can be contracted in multiple ways, so the easiest way to prevent them is to routinely use a preventative. Frequent fecal testing is also essential. It is extremely important to prevent intestinal parasites, as most of them are zoonotic, this means they are contagious to you and your family!