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Parasite Control

A parasite is an organism which steals the resources of another animal to live. For example, fleas live on the skin and coat of furry animals and subsist off of their blood. Intestinal worms live inside the digestive systems of mammals and steal their food and nutrients. Parasites will make their hosts weak and unhealthy, and this will escalate as they multiply.

Keeping your pet parasite-free with preventative medicine and annual testing is crucial to their health and wellbeing— and the health of wellbeing you and your family as well. This is because some parasites are “zoonotic,” which means that they can also infect humans.

Thankfully, there is a variety of preventative treatments for parasites, from topical applications to tasty chews. Our veterinary team will help you select the most useful preventatives for your pet’s lifestyle and risk of exposure.

Here is some information about a few species of unwanted critters:

Fleas

  • These insects are known for causing itchy and painful bites.
  • Fleas can cause anemia, and even potentially prove fatal if they steal too much blood from their host.
  • Fleas can also bite humans, and can infest your home or yard as well.
  • Fleas multiply quickly. Female fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day and live for up to a year. The sooner fleas are treated, the better.

 

Ticks

  • Can spread a variety of terrible diseases including Lyme disease.
  • Deer ticks can be very small and difficult to spot on our furry friends.
  • Ticks are most prevalent in wooded areas or fields, and humid climates.
  • Checking your dog after spending time outside, in addition to preventative medicine, is your best defense against these pesky bloodsuckers.

 

Heartworms

  • These parasites are spread by mosquitoes, and are therefore prevalent in the hot Texas climate.
  • Heartworm infection is life-threatening, so preventing infection or catching the presence of heartworms early is crucial.
  • In the early stages, heartworms may cause only slight symptoms, such as infrequent coughing,
  • As they progress they will cause irreversible organ damage and eventually prove fatal if left untreated.
  • Dogs are their natural hosts, but cats are also susceptible.
  • Heartworms are easy to prevent, but their treatment can be hard on pets (please ask about preventative medicine!)

 

Intestinal Parasites

  • May include species such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Yuck!
  • Puppies and kittens are most vulnerable to intestinal parasites because of their underdeveloped immune systems.
  • Some species, such as hookworms, are zoonotic, which means they can infect humans too.
  • If your pet has intestinal worms, hygienic disposal of their waste is paramount. Also, make sure to wash your hands frequently after cleaning up after your pets.
  • These nasty pests can be treated with a dewormer, and easily prevented with routine preventative medication.