Not only are parasites a danger to your pet, but they can spread to human members of the family, too. There are two forms of parasite infestations. External parasites (ectoparasites) and internal parasites (endoparasites).
The most common external parasites to affect your pet are fleas and ticks. These pests can be controlled with regular use of flea and tick preventive administered to your pet. At times, the environment in which your pet lives may also have an infestation that will need to be treated.
Endoparasites are parasites found within the body. There are gastrointestinal parasites found in the gastrointestinal tract. These include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. These parasites are also a health risk to humans and are considered zoonotic- meaning they can be transmitted from animals to people. Good hygiene and handwashing are key preventions, especially when young children are around family pets.
We recommend twice-yearly preventative deworming in adult cats and dogs, and a series of deworming in puppies and kittens at the same time as their vaccine series.
Heartworms are endoparasites effecting the heart of dogs and cats from an effected mosquito. A heartworm infection can progress to life-threatening heart failure if left undiagnosed or untreated. To prevent heartworm disease, it is recommended to keep your dogs and outdoor cats on year-round heart worm prevention.