Some activities that are normal to your pet’s lifestyle can put them at risk of catching parasites. For instance, playing in soil, hiking in heavily forested areas, and playing with other animals. These are just some of the different ways through which your cat or dog can catch parasites. When infected, your loyal companion can experience severe symptoms that may cause irreparable damage to their organs. Another thing to consider is that some parasites are zoonotic; your pet can pass them on to you and other humans. To discuss how you can keep yourself and your loyal companion protected from parasites, feel free to call us at 905-332-4014.
What parasites can infect my cat or dog?
Parasites fall into two categories: internal and external. Internal parasites can take a longer time to be diagnosed because there aren’t always symptoms in the early stages. Internal parasites are usually worms that live within the gastrointestinal tract, they include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and heartworms. External parasites are usually on the skin, which is why it's important to do a thorough check of your cat or dog’s coat, paws, and skin every so often. Some external parasites are ticks, fleas, ear mites, and mange mites.
How can I tell if my cat or dog has parasites?
If you suspect that your cat or dog has parasites, you shouldn’t wait to see if their symptoms will go away on their own. It’s important to remember that your feline or canine friend can be infected for weeks or months before you see any symptoms. Here are some signs that your cat or dog may have parasites:
- Itching and scratching
- Swollen belly
- Weight loss
- Red bumps
- Bald patches
- Protruding lumps
Refrain from treating these symptoms on your own. Instead, contact your veterinarian so they can run proper diagnostics and provide treatment.
How often should my cat or dog have preventatives?
Preventative medication should be taken all year round. Cats and dogs are at risk of getting parasites anytime throughout the seasons. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian to establish a prevention routine that matches the lifestyle, age, and medical needs of your loyal companion. In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend a broad-spectrum preventive that protects from multiple parasites.