Fleas. Ticks. Worms. We wish they didn’t exist because these parasites are a common concern for both dogs and cats throughout the entire country. They can affect your pet internally or externally, putting them at risk for serious diseases, some of which can be fatal without parasite treatment. The good news is, Triangle Animal Clinic offers parasite prevention, including topicals and chewables, to help protect your companion from these risks. We can also provide tips and guidance on some of the parasite preventatives available in stores or online, such as flea and tick collars.
Intestinal parasites are organisms that live in an animal’s gastro-intestinal tract. The most common ones include roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, and giardia. Both dogs and cats can become infected by an intestinal parasite after ingesting the parasite or its eggs in contaminated food or water. These parasites can also be spread via exposure to a contaminated animal’s feces.
Here at Triangle Animal Clinic in Conroe, TX, we can perform a fecal exam to be certain that your pet is free of intestinal parasites. If they test positive, we can provide treatment and discuss ways to prevent future infection, as these organisms can lead to anemia, immune-system issues, and other health concerns.
Just as the phrase implies, external parasites are those that live outside of an animal’s body, such as fleas and ticks. Dogs and cats can get fleas either from coming in contact with a flea-infested animal or with the outdoor areas where fleas live, including grass and shady, moist areas. However, since fleas can hitch a ride on the soles of your shoes, any pet can be at risk, even if they don’t spend a lot of time outdoors.
Your pet can also come in contact with ticks while outdoors, especially during walks through the woods, since they tend to hide in tall grass and brush. Ticks are easier to spot than fleas, since they’re larger, so make a habit of checking your pet’s head, ears, and other parts of their body regularly for these tiny critters.
If not removed from your pet, fleas and ticks can cause a number of issues, including flea allergy dermatitis and Lyme disease. That’s why at Triangle Animal Clinic, we recommend a flea and tick preventative that will protect your pet year-round.
Heartworms are among the most unique pet parasites in that they live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of an animal, as opposed to the intestines or skin. These roundworms can grow up to a foot long and are spread as infective larvae when a mosquito bites an animal. When the worms grow to maturity in the body, they can cause heart failure, lung disease, organ damage, and even death.
Just as with the risk of flea exposure, the risk of mosquito exposure can apply to both outdoor and indoor pets, since mosquitoes can easily make their way into your home. Triangle Animal Clinic offers heartworm preventatives, heartworm testing, and heartworm treatment, depending on your pet’s needs.
If you’d like to learn more about heartworms or other parasites and how we can treat and prevent them here at Triangle Animal Clinic, let us know at your next visit.