There are many types of parasites whose purpose is to thrive at the risk of our pets’ health. Although some parasites are not as harmful as others, it is important to worm your pets at an early age, and reduce the risk of contact with these parasites throughout the rest of their lives.
Suffering with intestinal parasites can wear down your pet because they reduce the absorption of nutrients, which eventually can lead to protein loss and other diseases, like anemia. For younger pets, such as puppies and kittens, this can be even more detrimental to their health. They need the most amount of nutrients at that age, since they are still growing.
Depending on the area in which you live in, there are different worms that you will have to watch out for. The most dangerous of the worms is a tapeworm called “hydatid tapeworm”. This worm is common in areas where dogs have access to sheep. This parasite can be passed to humans as well if an infected dog licks faces or there is improper sanitation when preparing/consuming food.
There are, of course, other types of worms, called hookworms and roundworms. These worms can also affect humans, especially children. The best way to keep you and your pet healthy and worm-free is to regularly worm your pet. The best time to worm your pet depends on its age. It’s also a good idea to clean up your pet’s droppings, and wash your hands after playing with your pets and before eating.
Heartworms are very dangerous. They are spread by mosquitos, so they can be transmitted to any dog, even the ones that rarely go outside. Although the disease has become less and less common due to regular preventatives, it is still heavily carried by dingos, foxes, and stray dogs that don’t have access to veterinary care. Since it is pretty much impossible to completely eradicate heartworm, it is important to do year-round treatments for your pets. Dogs with heartworms will seldom show symptoms until the damage is too severe. This is why it is important to have regular check-ups.
There are many choices out there to help prevent worms, but the drugs Milbemycin and Selemectin are the most common. They have a broad spectrum that takes care of roundworms, hookworms, and even prevents against heartworm. They are found in many different medications, including Trifexis and Revolution, both of which also prevent against fleas.
However, it should be noted that while Revolution and Trifexis work well as a preventative, neither of these medications work against tape worms, which come from fleas. If your pet has tapeworms, it will need a dewormer with either Fenbendazole Panacur for dogs, or Praziquantal for cats. If you aren’t sure if your pet has worms, ask your veterinarian to do a worm test before starting treatment.
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