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Importance of Parasite Control in Dogs

Parasites pose a continuous threat to your dog's health, ranging from minor irritation to a serious health crisis. Our vets in South Lebanon have compiled a list of parasites that can infect your dog and explain why preventing such infections and implementing effective parasite control measures is crucial.

What is a parasite?

A parasite is an organism that invades your dog's body and feeds off of their resources, which often leads to poor health as they steal essential nutrients. Some parasites can cause severe and irreversible damage to your dog's organs.

Many types of parasites can affect dogs, including hookworms, heartworms, tapeworms, lice, ticks, and fleas. In this post, we will take a closer look at some of these common parasites and explain why controlling them is crucial for your dog's health.

We will also discuss how your veterinarian can help you in this regard.

How can my dog become infected with parasites?

Did you know that your dog can get infected by parasites without interacting with other animals? This is because animal feces can be passed down from mother to child before birth, and insect bites can also transmit infections.

Here are some examples of parasites that can infect dogs:

Roundworms 

This particular parasite can spread through the eggs that are excreted and accidentally ingested by the new host animal. Roundworms can also be transmitted from mother to child before birth.

The eggs of roundworms can survive for several weeks without a host and may infect humans, especially children. This may lead one to question every sandbox they played in as a child.

Roundworms can cause stunted growth and make infected dogs look pot-bellied. Worms can also come out of both ends.

Heartworms 

Heartworms are a type of parasite that can infect dogs and are often spread by mosquitoes. These worms grow, reproduce, and spread throughout the dog's body, including the heart muscle.

This is where they get their name from. Heartworms can cause severe damage to internal organs and can be found in the dog's heart, blood vessels, and lungs.

. Diagnosing the infection can be difficult as symptoms usually appear at a later stage when the infection is quite severe. It's worth noting that heartworms are unlikely to infect humans.

Hookworms

These dreadful creatures can infect dogs in three ways: consuming an infected mother's milk, consuming the parasites' eggs, or burrowing into the skin.

These creatures are like little vampires that feed on the blood of animals by entering their gastrointestinal tract and causing ulcers by tearing holes in the lining.

They can be fatal to young puppies and cause anemia in adult dogs. These unpleasant creatures can also burrow into human skin. Just like roundworms, sandboxes are notorious for transmitting these parasites.

It's best to avoid letting kids play in sandboxes to prevent the spread of these harmful creatures.

Fleas

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.

Ticks

These little bugs bury their heads into the flesh of their victim. They can spread lyme disease and attack humans.

How to Prevent Parasites in Dogs

Pet owners often wonder how they can prevent their dogs from contracting parasites and the potential effects on their health. The best way to protect your dog is to keep up with their vaccinations.

Your vet can advise you of a schedule for inoculation. It's also important to take your dog for an annual wellness check, so your vet can test for any infestation.

Parasite control is an essential aspect of your dog's overall healthcare routine. During your pet's annual check-up, our veterinarian in South Lebanon can examine your dog for any indications of parasites and suggest parasite control measures or products suitable for your dog based on various factors such as your location, your dog's risk factors, health status, and more. 

If you have any queries or concerns regarding parasite prevention and control, we will gladly help you.

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.

Are you concerned about preventing and controlling parasites in your dog? Contact our vets at Little Miami Veterinary Services to book an examination and fecal test for your furry friend.

New Patients Welcome

At Little Miami Veterinary Services, we are always accepting new patients. Our vets are passionate about the health of South Lebanon companion animals. Contact us to book your pet's first appointment and join our veterinary family.

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