There comes the point in the life of pets when they experience discomfort caused by parasites, ticks, fleas, and similar other worms. At times identifying fleas and ticks is easy for dog parents. But sometimes they may develop internal parasites which can be challenging to identify. The dogs keep growing parasites without your knowledge, and it becomes worrisome when the situation gets out of control.
The parasites, once developed, are highly irritating to pets, and they may cause some health-related severe issues in dogs. The advent of science and modern medicines has made it easier for dog owners to treat, prevent, and control parasites than before.
What are Parasites in Dogs?
The disease control center has defined parasites as organisms that live inside or on the host organism. They feed on the host and get their food at the expense of the host’s health. They develop in dogs very quickly, and hence, you should take care of your dog to make sure that it doesn’t develop parasites.
As a pet parent, you should be aware of two significant parasites usually found in dogs; external parasites and internal parasites. Internal parasites live inside the body of animals, such as hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and heartworms. On the other hand, external parasites are found on the host’s body and develop an infestation, such as ticks, fleas, etc.
When your pet develops parasites, either internal or external anemia, secondary infections can occur in severe cases. You should consult your vet, and they will prescribe the required treatments and medications that will help you and your pet get rid of parasites.
There are certain preventive medicines that can be administered regularly. For example, medicines like Heartgard Plus for dogs come as chewable tablets, and they are very effective in preventing and controlling the infection of certain worms in dogs. You can use and see results within just a few days of starting the course of the medicine.
Common Parasites In Dogs
Ticks are external parasites that can attach to the body of dogs and humans as well. You can choose to wear protective clothing when you visit tick-prone areas, but if you take your dog along, they will catch it. Early detection of ticks is highly recommended since ticks take time to transmit diseases to their host.
It would help if you chose regular preventive measures to stop the infestation of ticks in your house and surroundings to ensure no significant adverse impacts.
Fleas are external parasites, and they can make your pet’s life miserable. They progress through numerous different life stages. The stages include transforming the egg into larvae, then into pupae, and then finally into adults that further reproduce and suck blood. Though they are small in size, they have the capacity to suck large amounts of blood.
If your pet develops fleas, they may cause flea allergy dermatitis along with itching and other similar skin infections. You should take care and deworm your pet to keep them away from such concerns. A large infestation with fleas may lead to anemia.
Besides the two mentioned, there are other external parasites, along with the internal parasites found in dogs. Let us now see preventive measures that will help prevent the development of parasites in dogs.
How To Prevent Parasites In Dogs
There are a few tips that will help you prevent the occurrence of parasites in your dog.
Annual visits to the veterinary
Preventive care along with regular fecal exams will help you keep your dog safe from infesting parasites. This will furthermore help you catch the infestation early.
Clean up after your dog:
You should always pick up the feces of your dog since this will help reduce the risk of contamination in the environment. When you are cleaning up, make sure that you have your hands protected and wash your hands after cleaning up.
Keep your pet on Tick/Flea and Heartworm Prevention Year-Round:
You should ask your veterinarian about which parasite will be a problem in your area. In a country, there are certain areas, where some specific parasites are a major problem whereas others are of less concern. Based on your locality, they will be able to prescribe some preventative products for your pet.
The Bottom Line
If you suspect that your dog is suffering either from an internal or external parasite, do not neglect it. Take them to your vet and get a diagnosis done. If the situation worsens, they can experience some severe consequences. In several ways, your dog can contract parasites, so taking them to your vet is the only way you will know that they have ingested parasites.