Parasitic infections are extremely common in pets, and some such infections are not only life-threatening to your animal but can also be transmitted to your family. An important part of veterinarian care is providing preventative treatment for parasites, but pet families should also be able to recognize the signs of infections so that they can seek vet care when needed. Getting early treatment for infections can often help to prevent serious complications. Here is what you need to know about parasitic infections in your pet, including when to call your veterinarian in Cupertino .
What are the symptoms of parasites?
There are many different types of parasites, and the symptoms for each vary. However, there are some general signs to be alert to in your pet. External parasites, such as fleas and ticks, often cause itching, chewing, and licking of the infected area. Hair loss may occur where the parasite is attached. Internal parasites, including worms and giardia, often cause abdominal symptoms, including diarrhea, gas, and vomiting. Keep in mind that some parasites, particularly internal ones, may not cause any symptoms at all, which is why seeing your veterinarian regularly for check-ups is so important.
What treatments are available?
External parasites may require topical treatments, and in the case of ticks, they will be gently removed with tweezers. Treatments for internal parasites vary depending on the type of parasite and the extent of the infection. In most cases, there are specific medications that are effective in different types of worms. Supportive treatments to ease symptoms like dehydration caused by diarrhea or to soothe abdominal distress are also sometimes required.
Can parasites be prevented?
Preventing parasites is the best strategy for keeping your pet healthy. Your vet can recommend preventative medications for fleas, ticks, and most worms that your pet can take monthly or on a schedule recommend by your vet, which can be purchased at your animal care clinic. You can also reduce the risk of infection by avoiding giving your pet raw food, cleaning up pet feces on a regular basis, and maintain good hygiene in your home.