Parasites can cause not only cause disease in our dogs and cats but also in humans. The good news is that parasites are preventable. The key is consistent, year round use of effective preventatives on all pets (including indoor-only dogs and cats). There are many choices for preventatives and some are more effective (and safer) than others.
Intestinal parasites: Intestinal parasites are common in puppies and kittens. Not all parasites can be seen with the naked eye so bring a stool sample at least once a year and we will check for and treat any parasites found.
The most common worms in puppies and kittens are:
- Roundworms – resemble strands of spaghetti
- Hookworms – resemble strands of spaghetti
- Tapeworms – which look like rice granules or cucumber seeds
Other Internal Parasites
Heartworm: Heartworm are transmitted by mosquitoes and live in your dog or cat’s heart causing damage to their heart and lungs. Fortunately, they are easily prevented and the prevention we recommend also helps control most intestinal parasites. Win/win!
We recommend year round Heartworm preventative and testing, with the first test being done when your puppy is 6 months of age. We often refer to the test as the 4DX. It screens for Heartworm and 3 tick borne diseases: Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis
For more information on testing and prevention check out this fun-filled link:
Fleas: It is important to treat and prevent fleas on your new puppy or kitten before they become established in your home. Be sure to treat using a product safe for your young pet. Anyone can bring fleas into your home, which makes year round flea prevention ideal if you’re concerned about these unwelcomed tag-along parasites joining you and your pet family.
Ticks: Due to Maine’s unpredictable winters, ticks attachment can
occur anytime of the year. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, just to name a few. Tick prevention is usually included with flea prevention and is also recommended year round.
Some of the parasites our pets carry can cause disease in humans as well, particularly kids!
For more in-depth and easy-to-read information on pets, parasites and people check out CAPC (Council for Animal Parasite Control)
PARASITE PREVENTION PRODUCTS
Wondering which product to pick to help safely prevent these parasites? Don’t be afraid to ask the veterinarian and they will help you pick the preventative best suited to your puppy’s lifestyle and needs!