Parasites are organisms that feed on or within other animals. The most common parasites are ticks and fleas. Other common parasites include heartworms, mites, and even lice. It is important to prevent parasite infections since the harm from a parasite can result in serious conditions depending on the health of your pet. If left untreated, some can even be fatal. We provide various treatment options for parasite infections at Ferreira Animal Hospital in Miami, but our goal is to educate pet owners on how to prevent them.
Pay Attention to Signs of Illness
Sometimes pets may not even show any signs of illness when they are infected with a parasite. This is why it is important to take your pet in to see a veterinarian for regular testing. However, when signs do become obvious, you should be prepared for what to look out for. The most common symptoms associated with a parasite infection include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or even blood in your pet’s stools. Heartworm infection signs may include difficulty breathing and coughing. Be sure to seek medical attention if you notice any of these signs in your pet.
Keep Yard Free of Feces
One of the best ways to reduce your pet’s exposure to the risk of parasites is by practicing good sanitation. This means ensuring to always clean up after your pet, including picking up feces in your yard. Most intestinal parasites are spread through direct contact with feces. A yard contaminated with feces can be a source of exposure for several months since parasites can live in the soil for some time.
Avoid Letting Pets Drink from Standing Water
Standing water is a breeding ground for parasites, one in particular called Giardia. This can result in extreme diarrhea. Don’t allow your pet to drink from standing water or from any puddles. Always provide a fresh, clean source of water for your pet. This will keep him from seeking it someplace else.
Take Pet in for Fecal Checks
Every six months or every year, you should bring a fresh sample of your pet’s stool to your pet’s exam. Your vet can test for parasites using the sample you provide. Younger pets are more vulnerable to intestinal parasites. If you just got a new kitten or puppy, be sure to bring a stool sample along to the first vet exam.
Schedule an Appointment for Parasite Prevention Today
Pet care is important, and preventing parasites is even more important. Contact us at Ferreira Animal Hospital in Miami by calling (786) 275-4629 today to schedule an appointment for your pet.