As a Veterinarian in Vancouver WA, parasites are just a natural part of our world…
Has your pet ever battled parasites? At Claus Paws Animal Hospital (a Vancouver WA Veterinarian), treating intestinal parasites and other freeloaders is a daily occurrence. For starters, most puppies and kittens have roundworms, so deworming is started early on to ensure a healthy start for the new family member. Not only that, but humans (especially children) are susceptible to roundworm infection. The veterinarian will often prescribe a dewormer at the first puppy or kitten visit, followed by a second (or third) round at a following vaccine appointment. Like vaccines, it is important that deworming occur at the correct interval to halt the parasite life cycle.
Tapeworms are spread to dogs and cats through fleas. Fleas carry the tapeworm eggs, and when your pet eats the flea during normal grooming, the tapeworm eggs are right in their happy place – your pet’s GI tract. Once the tapeworm has matured, small sections (“proglottids”) containing eggs will pass out of the intestines, often in the pet’s stool. This is how tapeworms are usually identified, and dewormer can treat the problem. Even if you have never seen a flea on your pet, they may be grooming them away before you notice any signs. Treating regularly for fleas with a safe, veterinarian-recommended product is the best way to prevent tapeworms.
Ticks love our wooded areas and fields, and we often see pets with engorged ticks in the spring, summer and fall. It is important to have the tick removed as soon as possible, because the longer it remains attached, the higher the risk for spread of tick-borne disease. We mostly see ticks on dogs, but we do see them on cats on occasion. Ask the veterinarian if tick prevention is recommended for your pet’s lifestyle and surroundings.
Parasite prevention is a normal part of pet ownership. Checking a fecal sample annually allows the veterinarian to monitor your pet’s health. You are the first line of defense – you know your pet best, and any changes you see can indicate a change in the health status of your pet. Don’t hesitate to call; intestinal parasites are very common in our moderate climate and the doctor can prescribe the correct medication for your pet. Let the experts help your pets, come see the veterinarians at Claus Paws with all your pet care concerns!