roundworms_1Internal parasites are a very common problem among dogs. Almost all puppies are already infected with roundworm when still in the uterus, or get the infection immediately after birth, through their mother’s milk (roundworm, hookworm). Moreover, dogs of all ages are continuously exposed to potentially harmful parasites through mosquito bites, which can transmit heartworm infection, or through soil contaminated by infective parasite eggs or larvae in the backyard and parks. Though some of these parasites are very dangerous, they can be easily controlled and prevented. Click here to see the prevalence of parasites in LA/Ventura County.

 
 
Why Parasites are a Problem
Being life-threatening, heartworms are among the most dangerous parasites, but hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms can also seriously affect a dog’s health and well-being.

These parasites can be transmitted to humans through ingestion of contaminated soil, sand, or plants. Dogs and cats infected with parasites contaminate their surroundings by passing eggs or larvae in their feces. These eggs and larvae can survive in areas like parks, playgrounds, yards and inside homes.

These parasites can be transmitted to humans through ingestion of contaminated soil, sand, or plants. Dogs and cats infected with parasites contaminate their surroundings by passing eggs or larvae in their feces. These eggs and larvae can survive in areas like parks, playgrounds, yards and inside homes.

A yearly examination of your pet’s stool helps locate these parasites and treat them effectively with medication. There is no all-encompassing de-wormer. Identification of the parasite is necessary for proper treatment.

For more information about safe and healthy pet ownership see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets.

How to Examine Your Pet
Only a veterinarian can examine your pet for parasites. Almost all puppies have parasites, so it is essential to have any puppy checked and to maintain ongoing prevention. Detection is done through a microscopic examination of the feces and should be repeated on a yearly basis.

Treating and Preventing Internal Parasites
Since many puppies are already infected at birth or immediately after birth, and are continuously re-infected through their mother’s milk or through the environment, it is important to initiate the de-worming treatment once the puppies are old enough. Mothers of infected pups should be treated concurrently. This will prevent puppies from developing the disease and shedding parasite eggs through the feces, thus avoiding environmental contamination. Because of the prevalence of parasites and the ease of transmission, adult dogs should be placed on a monthly parasite preventative throughout their lives.

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