Dogs & Parsites
A parasite invades your dog's body, living off their resources and often harming your pet's health by stealing nutrients. Some parasites cause irreversible, severe damage to your dog's organs.
Dog parasites encompass various types, such as hookworms, heartworms, tapeworms, lice, ticks, and fleas.
This post delves into common parasites, emphasizing the importance of parasite control in dogs for their health and explaining how your vet can assist in this regard.
How Your Dog May Become Infected
Did you know your dog doesn't need to interact with other animals to become infected? This is because other animal feces can be passed down from mother to child before they are even born. Insect bites are another potential method of transmission.
Below are a few parasites that are more commonly seen in dogs:
This parasite can be transmitted through eggs excreted and subsequently swallowed by the new host animal. Mother-to-child transmission is another possible route before birth.
The eggs, capable of surviving for weeks without a host, pose a risk of infecting humans, particularly children (enough to make you question every sandbox you played in as a child). Roundworms have the potential to stunt growth and give infected dogs a pot-bellied appearance. Additionally, worms can exit the body from both ends.
Often spread by mosquitoes, heartworms can grow, reproduce, and spread through a dog's body. The name heartworm originates from their unfortunate habit of embedding in the heart muscle.
Heartworms can be found in an infected dog's heart, blood vessels, and lungs and can be difficult to diagnose because the infection will be quite severe when symptoms appear. These worms can cause massive damage to internal organs. This parasite is unlikely to infect humans.
These horrifying creatures can infect your dog by entering its system through the consumption of an infected mother's milk or eggs or by burrowing into the skin. Little vampires sustain themselves by entering the GI tract, tearing holes in the lining, and feeding on the blood of animals, causing ulcers. Young puppies are at risk of deadly consequences, while adult dogs may suffer from anemia. Additionally, these vile creatures can burrow into human skin. Sandboxes, like roundworms, are notorious for serving as vectors of transmission—raising the question of why we allow kids to play in them.
The classic pest that infests your dog's fur. They are normally an annoyance, constantly biting and causing skin irritation. They can be a disease vector for tapeworms.
These little bugs bury their heads into the flesh of their victim. They can spread Lyme disease and can attack humans.
Preventing Parasites in Dogs
After realizing the numerous parasites that can affect our dogs and understanding their potential impact on health, pet owners naturally ask, "How can we prevent parasites?"
To safeguard your dog, maintain their vaccinations regularly. Consult your vet to establish a vaccination schedule. Ensure your dog undergoes an annual wellness check for the vet to conduct tests and detect any infestation.
Even the healthiest dog faces a significant danger from parasites. To safeguard your dog and your family, we advocate employing various practices and products for parasite prevention.
Incorporating parasite control into your dog's routine healthcare is essential. During your pet's annual exam at our Gold Canyon veterinary clinic, our experts can examine your dog for signs of parasites. Our veterinarians can recommend suitable parasite control measures or products based on your location, your dog's risk factors, health status, and more.
Feel free to ask any questions or concerns about parasite prevention and control; we're here to help.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.