HK Animal Hospital Pet Care TipsPOPULAR PARASITES
Parasites are everywhere! Though there are relatively few things that can pass from your pets to you or your family members, parasites can in fact transfer from people to pets and vice versa. Here is some information regarding common parasites and how you can protect you and your pets from them.
Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are the typical precursors to intestinal parasites. Treatments for external parasites (or ectoparasites) are fairly simple, but treatments for internal or intestinal parasites are much more complex and expensive. Save everyone and every pet a lot of trouble by using preventative care! Topical or oral medication can help prevent infections caused by these ectoparasites.
Intestinal parasites are plentiful and come in several routes. The first is in young puppies and kittens. Young pets can easily get intestinal parasites via nursing from the mother or from an unclean environment when their immune system hasn’t yet built up. We highly recommend a fecal exam and deworming for all new puppies and kittens.
Another route is through ectoparasites. Ticks and mosquitoes can cause serious problems such as tick fever, lyme disease, or heartworm infections. Fleas can cause rashes and allergies on the outside of your pet, but may cause tapeworm infections if they are accidentally chewed up and swallowed by your pet.
The last route is through ingestion. If your pet accidentally swallows food or water that is contaminated, they could get an intestinal parasite. A common one to look out for is Giardia, which is usually found in contaminated water, whether it be from a stream or a pond, or even a rain puddle.
What do I do?
The best thing to do is to stay up-to-date with preventative care. Flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives can help with most infections. Deworming and fecal exams are highly recommended in new puppies and kittens. Typical symptoms of intestinal parasites include diarrhea, lack of energy, or lack of appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms, please come on in for a checkup right away!
For parasite prevalence maps, click on the following trusted website for more details.