You make sure they get plenty of food, cuddles, and playtime, but how often do you take steps to ensure that your pets are parasite-free? Preventing parasites in your pet is crucial to its wellbeing, and this goes for both dogs and cats. At Cat and Dog Clinic of Cobb in Marietta, GA, our veterinary team provides parasite prevention methods for pets. We will also treat your pet if it does get infested with parasites. It is important to understand the risks of parasites for your pets so you can keep them well-protected.
Parasites Pets Are at Risk for
The exact kinds of parasites your pet is at risk for vary by region, but there are certain parasites you should also protect your pet from, including intestinal parasites like:
Common external parasites include:
Heartworms are internal parasites that your pet should also be protected from.
How Does a Dog Get Fleas?
While fleas can jump from a variety of surfaces, they are most commonly spread from contact with other animals. Dogs are naturally sociable, and there are a lot of dog-friendly parks and other meetup areas where dogs could get infested. Once fleas are on your pet, they can reproduce quickly.
How Do Ticks Affect Dogs?
Ticks like to hide in tall grass and shaded areas. They can attach to your dog and will burrow into the skin. They feed on your dog’s blood. Ticks often carry various diseases with them that can cause serious harm if they enter your dog's bloodstream. This includes Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Parasite Prevention Methods
Our veterinarian will help determine what prevention methods are best for your pet. We offer topical medications, oral medications, and sprays to protect pets from fleas and ticks. Most of these can be administered monthly. You can also get a flea collar for your dog. We provide oral heartworm medications as well. For intestinal parasites, our veterinarian will guide you on what prevention method is best for your pet.
Protecting Your Pet at Home
In addition to regular veterinary appointments and administering preventative medications, you can also protect your pet at home. It is important to check your pet for fleas and ticks after it has been outside. Try to avoid overly wooded areas. Do not let your pet drink standing water or eat feces. Clean up your pet’s feces immediately, and change your cat’s litter box routinely. It is also important that your pet gets routine checkups with our veterinarian. There are several signs you can look for that might indicate a parasite infestation in your pet. These include:
- Constipation (especially with an intestinal parasite like roundworms)
- Scratching or biting parts of the body
- Unplanned weight loss
- Changes in appetite
- Coughing or sneezing
- Fatigue or sluggish behavior (especially when acting sluggish after only mild activities)
Signs of heartworm are particularly crucial to detect, as heartworm can quickly progress past curable stages. If you notice any signs of heartworm, like cough, easy fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, or diarrhea, visit our animal hospital immediately.
Visit Our Atlanta Animal Clinic for Pet Parasite Prevention
To keep your pet healthy and safe, it is vital to give it parasite prevention medications. At Cat and Dog Clinic of Cobb in Marietta, GA, our veterinary team will guide you on how to protect your pets from parasites. Call us today to schedule an appointment.