When someone mentions dog parasites most people think of fleas. However, there are several intestinal parasites that can be dangerous and sometimes deadly for dogs. Parasites can be the cause of conditions such as anemia, intestinal obstruction and a weakened immune system. Parasite control is just as important as vaccinations for the family pet.
There are visible signs when dogs have parasites so being watchful of your pets behavior will help to keep them save from parasites. Some signs to watch for are vomiting; dry heaving, and cough, diarrhea, smelly stools, distended stomach, poor appetite, weight loss, and actually seeing the parasites in feces or vomit, these are just a few of the signs there are several more listed on the resource in this article.
Dogs and cats can both become infected with parasites by eating or licking the feces or body parts of themselves or other pets. In most instances ingesting the eggs or larvae left by other pets will cause infection. Pets can also contract these parasites by drinking contaminated or dirty water.
The veterinarian will perform a stool sample test to determine which type of parasite is causing the problems. Common parasites seen in family pets are controlled using different types of prevention and treatment.
Tapeworms are controlled with good flea control as the eggs of the Tapeworm are passed to pets thought infected fleas. It is best to use a good flea control product provided by your veterinarian, as over the counter flea control is not usually strong enough to give good control of fleas. No matter what type of parasite your pet may have the veterinarian is your best consultant for the treatment of the parasite.
Some animal parasites can also be transmitted to humans. Roundworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, Giardia and Cryptosporidium are all parasites that can be contracted by humans from pets. These parasites can cause allergies, gastrointestinal issues and sometimes organ damage if not treated. Children who play with and around pets are particularly at risk for infection making parasite prevention a large part of family pet ownership.
Ways to control parasites are simple here are some examples:
De-worm your pet every 3 to 4 months with the medications recommended by the family veterinarian who knows your pets.
Do not allow your pet to drink standing or bad water.
Do not allow pets to roam free and be sure to de-worm regularly if your dog is visiting the local leash free dog park.
Clean up the yard regularly so that feces is not left in the yard for contamination to occur.
The medications used to de-worm or treat an infected pet can vary depending on the type of parasite, weight of animal and age of animal. It is best to get the medication directly from a veterinarian who knows the pet and has good knowledge of any other underlying problems.