Parasites can really bug your pet, and, contrary to popular opinion, these pests aren’t just annoying. They can pose serious threats to your pet all year round. Some common parasites that target dogs and cats in our area include:
- Roundworms. Found in the small intestine of dogs or cats; common symptoms in pets include diarrhea, anemia, dehydration, and weight loss; puppies often have a “pot-bellied” look.
- Hookworms. Can infect puppies, kittens, and humans by penetrating skin through feet or belly; attach to the intestinal lining, creating bleeding internal wounds; common symptoms in pets include weakness and pale gums; in humans, red, itchy lesions.
- Whipworms. An intestinal parasite whose eggs can survive for years in the soil, re-infecting your pet even after successful treatment; can infect humans who come into contact with contaminated soil.
- Ringworm. Can be transmitted from pets to humans through direct contact as well as soil contamination; common symptoms in pets include patchy hair-loss; in humans, a circular rash on the skin that’s red and inflamed around the edge and healthy-looking in the middle.
- Fleas. They bite animals and people alike. In pets, they can lead to anemia, dermatitis, and tapeworm infections.
- Heartworms. Live in the heart and lungs and can be life-threatening to your pet.
- Ear Mites. Mites live in an infected dog’s cat’s and ears, feeding off the ear lining, causing intense scratching and/or head shaking.
We recommend annual fecal testing to check for intestinal worms for all our dog and cat patients, as well as annual heartworm tests for dogs. We also recommend year-round parasite protection for all patients.
Even indoor cats should be treated preventatively because the outdoors can get tracked indoors on our clothes and shoes and by other pets. Parasite prevention is easy with once-a-month chewable tablets and/or topical treatments.
If your pet is not already on a prevention program, give us a call at 212-396–3020 today!