Dogs and cats are not just pets. They

are members of the family.  And like any member of your family, it’s important to keep your pet healthy and free of parasites.

It’s fairly common for a dog or cat to

become infected with an internal or external parasite at some point in its lifetime. Parasites can affect your pet in a variety of ways, ranging from simple irritation to causing life-threatening conditions if left untreated.  Some parasites can even infect and transmit

diseases to you and your family. We can help prevent, accurately diagnose and safely treat parasites and other health problems that not only affect your dog or cat, but also the safety of you and your family.

 Parasites that may affect your pet:

*Coccidia                              *Mange Mites

*Roundworms                    *Tapeworms

*Ticks                                      *Toxoplasmosis

*Whipworms                      *Ear Mites

*Fleas                                    *Giardia

*Heartworms                      *Hookworms

Pets can pick up parasites in different ways: from feces on the ground, while developing in utero, or through their mother’s milk. Just like wild animals, your pets have the innate ability to hide sickness until they become extremely ill and, even though infected with parasites, may not show any clinical signs. Therefore, by the time these clinical signs are apparent, your pet is often very ill and has been shedding parasites for a long time.

Parasites can be transmitted to humans in many different ways, too. When people become infected with parasites, this is called a zoonotic infection and can lead to some very serious conditions. In people, these infections are usually the result of contact with areas contaminated by animal fecal matter. Children tend to be more susceptible to infection because they are more likely to run around bare-footed and are less likely to worry about good hygiene.

Because people are not the normal hosts, these parasites become confused when entering the body. Some of the places parasites may migrate include the eyes and other organs, where they may cause serious or even permanent damage.

Responsible pet parasite control can reduce the risks associated with transmission of parasitic diseases from pets to people.

By following a few simple guidelines, you can better protect your pets and family.

  • Practice good personal hygiene, such as washing hands after playing with pets or coming in from outside, and wearing shoes outdoors.
  • Use a preventative flea and/or tick treatment year-round.
  • Only feed pets cooked or prepared food (not raw meat).
  • Minimize exposure to high-traffic pet areas.
  • Clean up pet feces regularly.
  • Visit us for annual testing and physical examination.
  • Administer worming medications as recommended.
  • Ask about parasite infection risks and effective year-round preventative control measures

Young pets are more susceptible to parasites and have not developed some of the natural resistance of older animals. Still, our older pets also need to be de-wormed on a regular schedule to prevent problems from occurring.

This issue can be controlled with just a little precaution, allowing people and pets to continue their close relationship. And remember—this relationship can be extended for a long time with the help of your veterinarian.

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