How to Avoid and Treat Pet Parasites

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Parasites are a common health concern that both your beloved dogs and cats will likely face in their lifetime. Parasites can be both external and internal, and vary in severity from a simple annoyance or irritation to a life-threatening issue if the parasite goes unaddressed.

Learn more about how to avoid parasites, and how to best treat them if your pet is affected in today’s post from Alicia Pacific Vet Center.

Dog and cat laying in the grass together.

Zoonotic Vs. Vector-Borne Diseases

Zoonotic diseases can be either directly or indirectly transmitted from animals to humans, such as in the case of worms. Vector-borne diseases are transmitted through parasites including fleas and ticks and can infect both animals and humans.

Common parasites that may affect your pet include:

  • Giardia

  • Mange mites

  • Ticks

  • Ear mites

  • Heartworms

  • Roundworms

  • Fleas

  • Hookworms

A kitty scratching itself.

Signs of Parasites

External parasites including fleas and ticks are pretty easy to spot as they’re often visible on your dog’s coat, but internal parasites are rarely seen because they’re living within your pet.

Signs of internal parasites include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Scooting

  • Belly bloat

  • Weight loss

The important thing as a pet parent is to know if something isn’t right and to get them into the vet for a proper diagnosis.

A puppy getting a bath.

Keeping Your Pet Healthy & Parasite-Free

There are a variety of ways you can help your pet avoid parasites including:

  • Restrict access to contaminated areas (sandboxes, high traffic pet areas such as dog parks, etc.)

  • Practice proper hygiene (brushing and bathing your pet regularly)

  • Remove pet feces immediately to prevent parasites from forming

  • Use preventative flea and tick medications

  • Administer worming medications as recommended by the vet

  • Schedule regular pet checkups

A puppy getting a flea treatment at the vet.

Year-Round Parasite Treatments

Many vets provide year-round parasite treatments because dogs and cats are susceptible any time of the year. While fleas and ticks may be more prevalent in the warmer months when pets are outdoors more, if they’re brought indoors they can survive all winter long in an uninterrupted life cycle.

Internal parasites such as worms can affect your pet in any season, so it’s crucial to not only ensure your pet is protected, but to have a plan in place for if and when they are infected.

Parasites happen and are very common in dogs and cats, yet they don’t have to become an issue if they’re addressed right away. Prevent and avoid parasites with a wellness checkup from Alicia Pacific Vet Center today!

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