A big part of protecting your pets includes keeping them safe from internal parasites, like heartworms, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, Giardia, and coccidia. Neglecting to treat parasites can threaten your pet’s life, and at the very least, cause them to suffer.
Use the following tips to protect your pet from parasites:
Visit your Veterinarian
Request a regular fecal check at your pet’s next wellness visit. This is often suggested every six months to a year, and typically the owner provides their pet’s stool sample for analysis. Your vet should be able to clarify what parasites are common to the area as well as the best preventative methods to ensure your pet’s good health. Adopting a pet? Make sure to ask if the animal was dewormed and what kind of treatment was utilized; share this information with your vet.
Clean Up your Yard
Make sure that your yard is not a breeding ground for certain parasites by keeping it clean. The best way to lower the risks associated with parasites and parasitic infections is to sanitize. This includes prompt and thorough removal of dog and pet feces that are in your pet’s outdoor areas. Did you know that most intestinal parasites are transmitted through fecal matter? Parasites thrive in your backyard and can spread nasty illnesses to pets- and humans, too.
Watch What They Eat and Drink
Speaking of feces, do not allow your dog to eat poop. Get rid of fecal matter immediately, as mentioned previously, and keep your pet on a leash when frequenting areas that other dogs have access to.
Also, the Giardia parasite lurks in standing water. Do not allow your dog to drink from puddles or pools and provide plenty of fresh water to curb this behavior. Pets infected with this parasite usually experience severe diarrhea.
Recognize the Signs of a Problem
It can be difficult to discern when your pet has been infected with a parasite of some sort. The symptoms are not always clear. It is important to protect them so that the risk remains low and to detect and observe any behaviors that may be out of character for your pet. Some symptoms that should be considered suspect include:
- Change in appetite
- Bloody stool
- Difficulty breathing
- Chronic cough
Seeing some of these signs in your pet? Call or visit your veterinarian for assessment right away to pinpoint why.
Use Preventative Treatments and Medication
There are some effective medications available to help with protecting your pets against common parasites. You must be vigilant and consistent when treating for parasites; if you will be away from home, make sure that your pet does not skip multiple doses. If you find that treatment has lapsed, talk to your veterinarian to determine the best approach to prevent parasites and resume preventative care.
At the very least, you should consider getting a flea and tick collar for your pet. This helps protect them from external parasites that can also pose serious health concerns if preventative steps aren’t taken.
Talk to your veterinarian to learn more about preventing and treating parasites common to your geographic locale. For emergency vet and surgery services in Columbia, SC, reach out to CVETS. While we do not offer routine vet care, we are here for you in a pet emergency. Call or visit to learn more!