Pet Internal and External Parasites

It’s important to ensure that pets are free of internal and external parasites.


Pet Internal and External Parasites

On top of staying up to date on your pet’s vaccinations, it’s important to ensure that they’re free of internal and external parasites. If left untreated, many of them can be potentially fatal, especially in kittens and puppies. Prevention is always the best cure and a good way to avoid costly treatments. One of our veterinarians can discuss with you the best parasite prevention methods and medications depending on your pet’s individual situation and environment. In general, we suggest that puppies and kittens be wormed every two weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every month until 6 months of age. After six months of age, an adult pet needs to be wormed every 3 months.

External parasites are easier to see and remedy, though that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to not treat them to prevent them. Some of the most common external parasites for pets are ticks and fleas, which each carry their own risks. Signs of a flea infestation include particularly itchy skin, hair loss from excessive scratching and skin lesions from over-grooming. Remember that fleas won’t just stay on your pet, either. They can happily move onto other prey, such as a human owner. Though the most common issues are skin-related, fleas can also carry tapeworms that can infect both dogs and humans alike.

Concerning Conditions

Ticks, like fleas, can cause skin irritation and rashes in addition to more concerning conditions. The most dangerous type is the paralysis tick, so if your pet is showing symptoms such as uncoordinated movements, trembling, strange groaning or vomiting, it’s important to bring them in immediately.

Internal parasites in pets are usually worms, such as tapeworms, as mentioned above, roundworms, heartworm, hookworm and whipworm. Each of these carries a different prognosis, some more potentially fatal than others. It’s especially important to get your pet tested for heartworms, as these are by far the most deadly internal parasite, and all that’s needed is a single mosquito bite.