While external parasites, such as fleas and ticks, are easy to spot, intestinal parasites are rarely seen because they live inside your pet’s digestive tract and pass microscopic eggs or spores in his or her stool small to see with the naked eye. Tapeworms are an exception; they shed segments that resemble sesame seeds or rice grains and can be found in your pet’s stool or around their rectum. Roundworms are another exception, as they may occasionally be found in your pet’s vomit or stool. However, intestinal parasites are difficult to detect, and you should not wait until you see them take your dog to the vet.
What are the different types of internal parasites?
Learn about common parasites in dogs and how to prevent and treat these dangerous pests to protect your dog and for pet dental care, you can click here.
A heartworm is a roundworm that lives in the heart of a pet. Heartworms are not common in the northern areas, but animals traveling south or east may be at risk. Heartworm treatment is time-consuming and costly, and the prognosis is usually poor if left untreated for too long.
The most common worm infestation in dogs and cats is roundworm. Fortunately, they can usually be avoided and treated, except in extreme cases. Roundworms can grow quite large, causing weight loss, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and colic. If given a chance, roundworms can and will live in human hosts. Because roundworms can cause serious illness in humans, it is critical to deworm pets to reduce owner risk.
Hookworms are blood-sucking parasites in cats’ and dogs’ small intestines. They cause anemia by sucking blood from the pet’s small intestine. Hookworms can be fatal, especially in puppies and kittens, so be thorough with your deworming procedures. Hookworms can be transmitted to humans of all ages and cause serious illness.
Whipworms are extremely rare in cats but very common in dogs. Whipworms do not usually cause serious illness because they do not grow as large as some of the more dangerous worms. Still, if left untreated, large populations can form, causing serious complications. Humans are susceptible to different whipworm species than dogs and cats. In most cases, whipworms can be easily treated with deworming medications from places like St Michael Companion Animal Hospital.
Tapeworms are the most common worm that causes “scooting,” or dragging a dog or cat’s bum across the ground. Tapeworms are fairly common and usually treatable with deworming medication. Because tapeworms and fleas have symbiotic life cycles, it is critical to practice both internal and external parasite prevention simultaneously. If your pet comes into contact with fleas, they may become infected with tapeworm.
How to treat internal parasites?
Your vet may prescribe a dewormer for roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Many dewormers are oral and prescribed by vets or sold over the counter. Heartworm treatment comprises a stabilization period with steroids, heartworm preventives, and antibiotics before true worm killing.
Dogs are injected with FDA-approved heartworm medication. Treatment usually lasts 30 to 60 days and consists of three injections. Dogs treated for heartworm must be closely watched at a vet clinic or hospital. After therapy, dogs must rest.
In severe heartworm cases, veterinary surgery may be recommended. Due to the extensive and expensive heartworm treatment, pet parents should ask their veterinarian about heartworm prevention for their dog.
Consult your veterinarian to diagnose, treat, and prevent common intestinal parasites. Remember that regular vet visits are critical to your dog’s health. Communicate with your veterinarian and report any signs of illness as soon as possible.