All dogs and cats are at risk for parasites, including external parasites like fleas and ticks as well as internal parasites like heartworms and hookworms. Parasites can spread dangerous diseases and inflict damage to your pet’s internal organs. Luckily, your pet’s risk of parasite infection can be practically eliminated by taking year-round monthly preventives. Your veterinarian will help you choose the best form of preventive medicine for your pet, which can range from chews, topicals, collars, and injections.
Here is some additional information about parasites, which are prevalent in the Oklahoma area:
Fleas can inflict serious damage to your pet's health, your home, and your family. Much like a six-legged vampire, they survive by feeding off of their victim's blood, and leave painful or itchy bites. Severe infestations can cause anemia or even death if left untreated. Be mindful in the warmer months, when they are most prevalent, to have your pet on a preventative and keep them well-groomed.
Ticks are another pesky insect which bite their hosts and subsist off of their blood. Unlike fleas who bite multiple times, ticks just bite once and continue to burrow into the same spot on their hosts skin until they are hidden. Ticks can spread a variety of terrible diseases such as Lyme disease, tick paralysis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more. Prevent ticks by keeping your pet on a preventative, and inspecting their skin and coat closely after spending time outdoors.
Heartworms are easy to prevent, but difficult to treat, and devastating if contracted. They travel via mosquitos to spread to new hosts. If left untreated, irreversible organ damage and eventual death will result.
Intestinal Worms such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms usually spread through ingestion. They will make your pet feel nauseous and sick, and can also progress to a potentially fatal level of infestation. Some intestinal worms are zoonotic, which means they can be transferred from animals to people. If you suspect your pet has intestinal worms, make sure to clean up after them and frequently wash your hands. We recommend an annual fecal test and preventative medicine to ward off intestinal parasites.