Pet Parasite Prevention and Control| Richfield, OH

parasite prevention

Parasitic infections are one of the most common issues seen in pets. Parasites are pests or organisms that live on or inside your furry family member. These pesky critters survive by taking nutrients from your pet. But, not only do parasites use your pet for nourishment. They also lay eggs, producing new generations to continue the harm. Taking the right steps can help keep your beloved companion from contracting parasites.

Pet Parasites to Watch Out For

Both dogs and cats are susceptible to many parasite infestations. These include the following:

  • Intestinal Parasites. Intestinal parasitic diseases in pets are commonly caused by coccidia, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Symptoms of infection include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and poor condition. The first step to preventing intestinal parasites is an appropriate deworming of your pets early on. Your puppy or kitten should be dewormed every two to three weeks until they are three months old. Once initial deworming is performed, your pet should be given a monthly, year-round product that prevents intestinal parasites and heartworm infection.

  • Flea and Tick Infestation. Fleas and ticks are troublesome parasites found on your pet’s skin. Prevention and control are crucial, as these pests do not only cause skin problems. They can also spread different diseases to your little furball. Infestations can take a few weeks to several months to control. However, by taking some precautions, you can keep them from starting in the first place. Start by making your home less inviting to these tiny bloodsuckers by troubleshooting your yard and keeping your area clean. Luckily, there is a myriad of safe and highly effective products to prevent fleas and ticks from causing health issues to your pet.

  • Heartworms. Also referred to as Dirofilaria immitis, heartworms are worms that are transmitted by mosquitoes, and live in the heart and lungs of dogs and cats. These worms can cause mild symptoms, such as persistent coughing and decreased appetite. However, more severe symptoms like weight loss, anemia, congestive heart failure, collapse, and death may also occur. Fortunately, there is a wide array of oral, topical, and injectable medications available to prevent heartworms. Even if your vet already administered preventatives, annual checkups for heartworms are still essential. The tests will help verify that the prevention works and detect infection in its early stages. This way, treatment can begin immediately.

Furthermore, there are some steps you can take at home to keep your pet safe and parasite-free. These include practicing good hygiene at home, cleaning up your pet’s stool immediately, and preventing your pet from eating fecal matter from other animals or wildlife. Do not forget to visit your veterinarian for your dog’s or cat’s routine checks. Follow your vet’s advice for wellness exams and provide all parasite preventatives as recommended.

Has your pet been affected by a parasite? You would never want to go there again. At Richfield Animal Medical Center, we can perform a preventative care exam and create a prevention plan that works well when implemented right. Visit our clinic today in Richfield, Ohio, to make an appointment.