Pet parasites can be a nuisance or can be life threatening for your pet.

Internal and External Parasites Are Cause For Concern.
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Prevent internal and external parasites such as heartworm, fleas and ticks with the appropriate evaluation and medication from Minster Veterinary Services

Controlling Parasites in Your Pet  

 
 

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Parasites Affecting Your Pet

Internal

Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and heartworms can make a home inside your pet and rob your animal of vital nutrients, leading to poor appetite, loss of energy, serious anemia, and even death. Puppies and kittens are especially susceptible. Parasite infestation can be controlled and prevented. Your veterinarian can tell you about the extent of the parasite problem in your area. Simple diagnostic procedures can be performed.

External Parasites

General Information
From time to time most pets have parasites such as fleas, ticks, lice, or mites. It's simply in the nature of things, parasites being parasites. The pests abound everywhere; therefore, their presence is not a disgraceful reflection on one's living habits. It is, of course, not necessary simply to accept such a state of affairs. Because external parasites can be extremely irritating to a pet and cause serious skin disorders or even disease, you have an obligation to rid your pet of these unwelcome guests if they are infested with them.

Yet external parasites, like squatters, are tenacious and difficult to "evict." They are not always discernible to the unpracticed eye and are therefore sometimes present in great numbers before you become aware of them. If you find your pet scratching frequently, or if you discover bald spots or inflammation of his skin, chances are your pet is playing host to an army of non-paying boarders. And it's high time for you to take him to the veterinarian.

The Adaptable Flea
The flea is an acrobatic pest that is adept at finding a warm place to live, jumping readily from dogs to cats or even human beings. The life cycle of the flea is about 30 days. The eggs are dormant in cool weather, but, with the advent of milder days, they hatch into worm-like larvae which eventually become fleas. The best way to rid your pet of fleas is to see a veterinarian for advice. They may recommend powders, sprays, dips, specially treated collars, or even tablets to be taken internally whatever the veterinarian's prescription, you should take care to follow their instructions exactly.

It will do little good to rid the pet's body of fleas if you don't simultaneously cleanse their sleeping quarters and other equipment. Aerosol sprays can be used for this purpose with excellent results. Regular and thorough vacuum cleaning of the pet's living area also helps to remove eggs, larvae, and pupae. Getting rid of fleas not only makes your pet more comfortable, it also reduces their chances of acquiring tapeworms since many fleas harbor tapeworm eggs.

Lice Not Nice
Lice are not just aesthetically unpleasant, and therefore, not "nice" but, they can become a source of danger for your pet especially to puppies. Often dogs with just a few lice are very "itchy," while those harboring thousands of lice may not scratch themselves at all. So small they escape notice, some lice penetrate the pet's skin and suck the blood. The females will lay eggs which in just three weeks will hatch and develop into adult lice.

The constant blood-sucking, if extensive, can cause severe anemia in puppies and greatly weaken mature dogs, particularly females with nursing puppies. The pest can also be a source of irritation to cats and kittens.

Your veterinarian is your best resource to detect and eventually eliminate this dangerous parasite.

Mites and Manges
Mange is caused by another type of external parasite the mite. Fortunately, mange is rare in the well-fed, well-kept cat.

In dogs, two types of mange are the most common: DEMODECTIC mange or "red mange," and SARCOPTIC mange or "scabies." They may be present at any time of the year.

Dogs suffering from demodectic mange usually do not scratch. This mange is most common in young short-haired animals and is marked in the early stages by small areas of hairlessness, accompanied by a red, irritated appearance. In sarcoptic mange, a severe itching is usually observed, with consequent skin irritation and loss of hair. This type of mange is contagious to people as well as to other dogs and therefore should be checked as soon as possible.

It should be remembered that mange is more serious than a simple skin irritation or abrasion or a source of discomfort to your dog though it certainly is that. Both of these manges are serious skin diseases that can lead to complications such as severe skin infections. Veterinarians usually treat mange by clipping, medicated baths or sprays, as well as oral medication or injections.

 

 

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Minster Veterinary Services
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Paul J. Hunter, DVM
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Parasites
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