Nearly every pet, dog or cat, will have some form of parasite in their life. This maybe roundworms as a puppy, tapeworms as an adult cat, or fleas. These parasites are generally easy to treat and even easier to prevent. Long term complications with most parasites are rare especially if treated quickly or prevented all together!
Since our pets are family, keeping them safe and healthy are most owner’s priorities. Internal parasites, such as heartworms, can cause death through heart failure while untreated roundworms can cause intestinal blockages. Anemia and weight loss may also be associated with internal parasites.
Some parasites are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted to people. Young children, elderly people, or immunosuppressed people are at the greatest risk.
Dogs or cats that hunt may be at an increased risk of contracting a parasite as they could ingest it from eating their prey. Wildlife may also carry parasites that may be dangerous to your pet, too. However, it is rare for a dog or cat to pass most parasites back and forth, since most are species specific. This is not the case with fleas or ticks though!
External parasites live on the outside of your pet. They include fleas, ticks, and mites. These parasites can cause skin irritations, carry diseases, and be very annoying to both the pet and you. Luckily, these type of parasites can usually be treated, controlled, and prevented quite easily.