Cats and dogs are susceptible to a number of parasitic infections, several of which are zoonotic (possess the ability to infect people as well as animals). Parasite prevention is not only important for the health of your pet but also for the health of your family.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are troublesome parasites of the skin. Flea and tick prevention is important because not only can they cause problems with the skin, but they possess the ability to transmit a number of diseases to the pet. Fortunately, there are many safe and highly effective products available at Green Summit Animal Clinic that can treat and prevent flea and tick infestations. Regular use of one of these products can effectively prevent fleas and ticks from becoming a problem for your pet. It may be tempting to purchase an over-the-counter product for your pet’s protection, but be cautious since many of these products can have serious side effects if used improperly and may have limited effectiveness.
The most common intestinal parasites in dogs and cats include hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms, giardia and coccidia. All of these organisms possess the ability to cause illness in your pet. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and poor overall condition; although parasites can affect your animal’s health long before you notice any symptoms. Additionally, roundworms, hookworms and some tapeworms are zoonotic parasites, which means that they can also infect humans. It is for these reasons that you should contact your veterinarian to check on setting up a routine testing schedule and monthly preventatives. At Green Summit Animal Clinic, we recommend internal parasite testing once or twice annually depending on lifestyle.
The yard or area where your pet eliminates can become contaminated with intestinal parasite eggs. This can lead to problems with reinfection of your pet or exposure and infection of future pets or humans. Immediate removal of feces from the yard greatly reduces the chance that the property will become contaminated with an intestinal parasite.