Pet Parasite Prevention and Control

Pet Parasite Prevention and Control

Pet Parasite Prevention and Control

It is fairly common for a dog or cat to become infected with internal and external parasites at some point in its lifetime. Parasites can affect your pet in a variety of ways, ranging from simple irritation to causing life-threatening conditions if left untreated. Some parasites can even infect and transmit diseases to you and your family.

We can help prevent, diagnose and safely treat parasites and other health problems that not only affect your dog or cat, but also the safety of you and your family.

You can reduce the risk of parasitic infection to your family by eliminating parasites from pets. A fecal examination will help us determine if your pet needs specific deworming medications. You should also restrict children’s access to contaminated areas such as sandboxes and pet elimination areas. And practice good personal hygiene such as hand washing after handling your pet or their waste.

Disposing of pet feces on a regular basis can help remove potentially infective worm eggs before they become distributed in the environment and are picked up or ingested by pets or humans.

Parasites can infect your pet any time of year. External parasites, such as fleas and ticks, may be less prevalent outside during certain times of the year. However, fleas can thrive in the house during the winter months creating an uninterrupted life cycle. Ticks are most active when temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit; but they do not go away in the winter, nor do they die because of the cold. Depending on the species, and stage of life of the tick, they find shelter in leaf litter and become dormant or latch on to a host – like a warm-blooded deer or hibernating rodent. Other internal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, may affect your pet all year long. That’s why it’s important to implement a year-round parasite control program.

For more information on how parasites affect your dog or cat, the health risks to people and prevention tips, please visit www.petsandparasites.org.

Ways to protect you and your pet from intestinal parasites:

  • Reduce exposure by removing feces frequently from the litter or the yard

  • Feed only cooked or prepared food diets (not raw meat)

  • Wash hands after handling pets, pet waste, and soil from the yard

  • Have a fecal sample checked for intestinal parasites (such as Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, Giardia, and Coccidia) at least once per year; more frequently if your pet is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea

  • Use a monthly prescription heartworm preventative year round as these contain medicine that will help eliminate intestinal parasites

  • Use monthly flea and tick preventative year round to help prevent bringing outside pests (fleas, ticks, and mange mites) into your home.

  • Avoid letting your pet drink from standing water outside

  • Prevent your dog from coming into contact with feces or urine from other animals

  • Prevent your pet from eating rabbits and rodents such as rats and mice