Parasite Prevention and Treatments

“A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host.”

Pet owners have very close contact with their pets on a daily basis. Pets share their beds, lick faces, share food hand to mouth, cats perch on kitchen counters after walking in the liter box, dogs stick their tongue in the dish wash hoping to find a tasty morsel even on clean plates. This is how animal parasites can infect humans put your family at risk of chronic disease. Aspen Vet veterinarians are the first line of parasite education and protection.

You might say, my cat or teacup poodle never goes outside to be exposes to other animals or their feces. However, parasites are carried by small home invaders that your pet can hunt and come into contact with in your own living room. Have you ever seen a mosquito, common house fly, cockroach, or mouse in you house. If so, you can bet parasite eggs have been deposited on you carpets or ingested by your pet.

Internal Dog and cat parasites

  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Whipworms
  • Heartworm
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Coccidia, Giardia, and Spirochetes (non-worm parasites)

External Dog and cat parasites

  • Fleas
  • Ringworm
  • Ticks
  • Lice
  • Mites

For most dogs, it’s recommended to take some type of worm prevention year-round. In fact, many heartworm preventive products also contain a dewormer for intestinal worms. Our veterinarians will let you know what’s best, based on the worms found in your part of the country and your dog’s lifestyle.

In addition to medications, there are some behaviors to prevent worm infestations.

  • When your dog goes to the bathroom, pick up and throw away the poo immediately. This decreases the risk of worm eggs getting into your yard.
  • Avoid areas with feces from dogs, cats, or wild animals. Choose parks, trails, and beaches that are clean and well-managed. (This also goes for children’s sandboxes and playgrounds — look for clean facilities to decrease risks.)
  • Practice and teach children about good hygiene. That includes washing hands before eating, especially after playing in soil or sand, or handling pets.
  • Keep up with regular veterinary care, including stool checks and parasite prevention. This is especially important for puppies who are working through their vaccine checklist and building an immune system. Worms are very common in puppies and can make them very ill, even leading to death, so stay on time with vaccines and puppy dewormers.

These best practices should help prevent worms and make your home a “worm free zone” — for both the two-legged and four-legged inhabitants!


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