Just like mosquitoes annoy us during the summer, other parasites are a constant nuisance to your pet. The only difference is that these critters are always a threat regardless of the weather. To combat this, veterinarians recommend parasite prevention throughout the entire year. When your pet is exposed to parasites, they can develop Lyme disease and other complications, which, in some cases, can be transmitted to humans.
What parasites can my cat or dog get?
There are two categories of parasites that cats and dogs can get: internal and external. Internal parasites tend to be more deadly as they can go months without showing any signs of an infection. Internal parasites include coccidia, hookworms, heartworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. These parasites attack from the inside, usually the intestines and even the heart. External parasites are more well-known as they attack the outer body. Lice, fleas, ticks, and mange mites are examples of external parasites.
How can I tell if my pet has parasites?
It's quite common for pets to have parasites without showing any signs initially. They should be on a strict year-round plan to ensure they aren't vulnerable. Here are the signs of a parasite infection:
- Itching and scratching
- Hair loss/bald patches
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen belly
- Dry, consistent cough
- Red bumps
Book an appointment with your veterinarian immediately if you notice these signs by calling our team at 403-932-5875.
What are the treatment options if my pet has parasites?
Our team will run diagnostic tests to determine which parasites your pet has and develop a treatment plan. Each case may be handled differently. Your veterinarian may prescribe oral or topical medications. Kindly refrain from treating parasites on your own, as it may worsen the condition. Once the parasites are removed, it is strongly advised to have your pet on a prevention plan. This may look like a monthly preventative that can boost their immune system.