Parasites pose a constant threat to your dog, ranging from minor nuisances to severe health risks. In this article, our veterinarians in Stockton will outline the parasites your dog might encounter and explain the importance of infection prevention and parasite control measures.
What is a parasite?
A parasite invades your dog's body, feeding off their resources and potentially harming your pet's health by stealing nutrients.
Some parasites can cause irreversible and severe damage to your dog's organs. Typical dog parasites include hookworms, heartworms, tapeworms, lice, ticks, and fleas.
In this post, we will talk about some prevalent parasites, highlighting the importance of parasite control for your dog's health and discussing how your vet can assist.
How can my dog become infected with parasites?
Did you know that dogs can get infected without interacting with other animals? This happens because animal feces from a mother can pass the infection to her puppies before they're born. Insect bites can also transmit infections.
Here are some examples of parasites that can infect dogs:
This parasite can be transmitted through eggs that get excreted and then accidentally swallowed by a new host animal. Roundworms can also pass from a mother to her child before birth.
The eggs can survive for weeks without a host, potentially infecting humans, particularly children. This might make you rethink the sandboxes you played in as a child. Roundworms can hinder growth and give infected dogs a pot-bellied look. Worms can also exit from both ends.
Mosquitoes often spread heartworms, which can grow, reproduce, and spread throughout a dog's body. They get their name from their unfortunate tendency to embed themselves in the heart muscle.
In an infected dog, heartworms can be found in the heart, blood vessels, and lungs. Diagnosing the infection can be challenging because it is usually severe when symptoms appear.
These worms can cause significant damage to internal organs. Fortunately, this parasite is unlikely to infect humans.
These terrifying creatures can infect your dog in several ways: by entering the body through the infected mother's milk, consuming the eggs, or burrowing into the skin.
They are like tiny vampires that survive by feeding on the blood of animals after entering the GI tract and creating ulcers, which they use as a food source.
These parasites can be fatal for young puppies and lead to anemia in adult dogs. Additionally, these repulsive creatures can also burrow into human skin.
Sandboxes are known to be a common source of transmission, making you wonder why children play in them.
The classic pest that infests your dog's fur. They are normally an annoyance, constantly biting and causing skin irritation. They can be a disease vector for tapeworms.
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
Naturally, after discovering how many parasites our dogs can contract and the potential effects on their health, the next question pet owners have is, "How are parasites prevented?"
The best way to protect your dog is to keep up with their vaccinations. Your vet will be able to advise you of a schedule for inoculation. Make sure your dog goes for an annual wellness check so your vet can test for infestation.
Parasites can significantly endanger even the healthiest dogs. We suggest various practices and products to safeguard your dog and your family from parasites.
Ensuring your dog's well-being requires essential parasite control. When you take your pet for their annual check-up at our Stockton veterinary clinic, our veterinarians will examine your dog for any signs of parasites. They will then recommend suitable parasite control measures or products tailored to your location, your dog's risk factors, health status, and other relevant factors.
We're also here to address any questions or concerns you may have regarding parasite prevention and control.
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.