When you are a pet owner, you have to take into consideration that your pet is prone to certain parasites. There may be times when you have to take preventative measures to help your dog or cat stay healthy. At St. Louis Veterinary Center, our veterinarians are here to help.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are the most common type of parasites for dogs and cats. These parasites naturally live in most outdoor areas, and they use the dog or cat as a host for a food supply by biting the animal and drinking its blood. Fleas and ticks can be incredibly problematic when they are present in large numbers, but these are the easiest pests to treat with proper veterinary care.
Both dogs and cats can get roundworms. These parasites live in the intestines and feed off of the contents found inside. Unfortunately, if roundworms are present, they can steal the nutrition in the pet’s food before it is fully absorbed by the animal's body, which can often lead to malnutrition. There are a few different types of roundworms, such as hookworms, but each can pose a similar threat to your pet.
Heartworms can affect most types of mammals and if left untreated, the condition can lead to heart failure. These parasites are very small and thin like thread, so they can freely pass through the bloodstream and get into the cardiovascular system. In the early stages of a heartworm infestation, a dog or cat may have a swollen belly, a slight cough, a decrease in appetite, and unexplained weight loss.
Tapeworms are most often picked up by a dog or cat that eats or drinks something that is already contaminated, and tapeworms can even be passed on to humans. These long worms live in the intestines of an animal and consume the food that comes through, which means the host does not get the proper nutrition. Weight loss is the number one sign that your pet has tapeworms. Treatment for tapeworms requires a visit to the local animal hospital by a veterinarian.
Contact Our Veterinarian in St. Louis for Parasite Prevention
Your pet can be prone to several types of parasites, and each of them can bring about specific concerns. If you suspect your pet has some kind of parasite, even if it is just fleas or ticks, it is essential to get help from your local veterinarian. Call St. Louis Veterinary Center today at (314) 230-8305 to schedule an appointment for pest and parasite prevention.