Why is parasite prevention so important?
Pet parasites can cause many diseases, some life threatening. Parasites cause disease by themselves or make other health issues worse. Especially important is the fact that some pet parasites are zoonotic. Meaning they can infect people. Children are more prone to parasite infestation than adults. This is due to their hygiene habits are not completely developed. Some parasites can cause major infections in people than they do in pets. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations on parasite prevention.
- diarrhea or soft stools
- weight loss
- poor coat
- difficulty breathing
What are some common parasites in the Arvada/Westminster area?
Heartworm and intestinal parasites are common. Less commonly seen are fleas and ticks. Due to more people traveling, Arvada veterinarians are seeing an increase in uncommonly seen parasites. Intestinal parasites include:
Due to certain parasites not be found with fecal testing, therefore a general dewormer is needed to remove your pet of potential infections of common parasites. Most of all new pets, such as puppies or kittens, a deworming treatment is needed. Also a fecal testing is done to evaluate if your new pet is parasite free. After this, the local vets will recommended giving your pet an easy to administer monthly parasite/heartworm preventive pill.
Heartworm disease is found all over the world. It is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. However, a common myth is that pets in Colorado do not need heartworm protection. This is false! The number of heartworm positive cases in Colorado has increased in recent years. Heartworm disease is passed by mosquitoes, that are found everywhere in Colorado, but especially in areas with lots of grass (golf courses, landscaping), swimming pools, ponds, and standing water. Heartworm disease is serious, quite expensive, and risky to treat. A monthly chewable heartworm preventative is an easy and cost effective way to stop this disease.
A blood test that can be done in our office, with results in as little as 10 minutes. This test needs to be done before your pet is placed on monthly heartworm/parasite prevention. Yearly testing is also required.
Also yearly testing of your pet’s fecal sample is needed to evaluate for possible infections with intestinal parasites. Further more, these tests look for the eggs that parasites lay that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Fecal testing is important to prevent parasites, but is also very important if your pet has clinical signs of infection, such as diarrhea or vomiting.
Finally, once a month preventatives that are applied to the skin between the shoulder blades. They will kill and prevent fleas and ticks. This not only rids the pet of the pests, but can prevent some diseases the pests may be carrying.