No pet is safe from parasites. They live in your pet’s environment and can make your dog or cat very ill. In some cases, a parasite infestation can even be life-threatening.
The good news, however, is many parasites are preventable with the right medication. Flea prevention, for example, can guard your pet against tapeworm. If parasites are detected early enough, treatment is easy.
At Fruitland Veterinary Hospital, we recommend routine testing to protect your pet and safeguard your family from parasites that can be transmitted to humans.
Basic screening involves testing stool samples for parasites like tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, Coccidia and Giardia (intestinal parasites), which are common in cats and dogs. In some cases, more complex screening may be required.
Pets can become infested by:
Drinking contaminated water
Larvae penetrating your pet’s skin
Ingesting infected items, like insects carrying a parasite
In utero transmission to puppies and kittens
Fleas transmitting tapeworms
Contracting a parasite from another animal
As well as parasite prevention, now is the time to prepare your pets for cold winter.
To avoid frostbite, it’s advisable to keep your pets indoors as much as possible over the course of the winter – especially for older or shorthaired animals, which are more vulnerable to the cold.
Early stages of frostbite are difficult to spot. Look for pale skin on extremities, like ears, feet and tail. In later stages, the skin will redden, swell and be painful before becoming scaly, blistery or black.
Also, be aware that ice-melter chemicals and salt can burn your pet’s paws, so wipe them upon return from the outdoors. Antifreeze is poisonous, so be sure to clean any spills and store any chemicals away from your pet’s reach.
Christmas decorations being ingested can also be toxic to your pets. If swallowed, decorations, like tinsel and other foreign bodies, can also cause serious intestinal issues and even death.
If you suspect your pet has frostbite or has ingested a toxic chemical or hazardous foreign body, contact us immediately.