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Importance of Parasite Control in Dogs

Parasites pose a constant threat to your dog, and the severity of the infection can range from being a mere annoyance to life-threatening. In this post, our veterinarians in Mooresville will discuss some common parasites and explain why it is crucial to prevent their infection and practice parasite control for dogs.

What is a Parasite

A parasite is an organism that feeds on your dog, taking nutrients and potentially causing irreversible damage to its organs.

Why should I worry if my dog doesn't interact with other animals?

Dogs can get infected by parasites through various means, such as insect bites, exposure to animal feces, and even transmission from mother to child before birth. Some parasites can be challenging to eliminate once they infect a dog's body. Therefore, it is crucial to take preventive measures. Some common parasites affecting dogs are:

Heartworm Disease

Mosquitoes are a common carrier of a particular parasite that can infect dogs. Once infected, the parasite grows, reproduces, and spreads throughout the dog's body. These parasites are called heartworms because they tend to embed in the heart muscle but can also be found in the lungs and blood vessels.

Unfortunately, diagnosing heartworms can be challenging because the infection has usually progressed significantly by the time symptoms appear. Heartworms can cause significant damage to internal organs, making it vital to detect and treat them early. While it is rare for humans to become infected with heartworms, they can cause serious health problems in dogs if left untreated.

Roundworms

This parasite can be transmitted from a mother to her child before birth or through ingesting excreted eggs. The eggs of this parasite can survive for weeks without a host and can infect humans, especially children. In dogs, this can lead to stunted growth and a pot-bellied appearance. Additionally, worms can emerge from both ends of the infected host.s.

Hookworms

These harmful parasites can infect your dog through infected mother's milk, ingesting the eggs, or burrowing into the skin. They are like tiny vampires that feed on the blood of animals by entering the gastrointestinal tract and creating ulcers. They are particularly dangerous to young puppies and can cause anemia in adult dogs. These parasites can also burrow into human skin. Sandboxes, like roundworms, are infamous for being the cause of transmission (which raises the question of why we allow kids to play in sandboxes?).

Fleas

The common parasite that infests your dog's fur is an annoyance that causes skin irritation and is a disease vector for tapeworms.

Tick

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

How to Prevent Parasites in Dogs

To prevent parasites in dogs, keeping up with their vaccinations is essential. Your vet can provide you with an injection schedule, which you should follow diligently. Apart from that, ensure that you take your dog for an annual wellness check so that your vet can test for any infestation. This will keep your furry friend healthy and prevent any potential health problems from worsening.

Conclusion

Parasites are terrifying and can be fatal to your dog. Please continue to use preventative measures to protect your dog. Dogs and children are disease vectors in outdoor sandboxes.

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 worried about your dog getting infected with parasites? Contact our Mooresville vets to book an appointment with our compassionate team.

New Patients Welcome

Lake Norman at Mooresville Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinarians are passionate about improving the health of cats, dogs and exotic pets. Book your pet's first appointment today.

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(704) 664-4087