Parasite Facts Every Pet Owner Should Know About

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As pet owners we want the very best for our favorite companions, so keeping them healthy and happy is always at the forefront of our minds.  Knowing the facts about a few potential health issues for both dogs and cats is the first step in preventing these life threatening illnesses.

Heartworm Facts

  • Heartworm is carried by infected mosquitoes.
  • Heartworm is one of the 5 most common health illnesses in cats and dogs.
  • A heartworm infection can be fatal to a cat.
  • Research shows that a heartworm infection can lead to a lung disease called H.A.R.D. (Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease).
  • The best option for heartworm in cats is parasite prevention; there are no approved treatments to cure a heartworm infection.

Hookworm Facts

  • A hookworm’s larvae may even be found in sandboxes and can also infect people.
  • Named for the hook-like appendage they use to attach to the intestine wall, hookworms can cause anemia, weakness and bloody diarrhea that can lead to death in cats.
  • Prevent hookworms in pets with the proper protection from your veterinarian.

Roundworm Facts

  • Roundworms are a zoonotic parasite that can cause potentially serious infections in humans.
  • Roundworm eggs can be tracked indoors from dirt on shoes.
  • Mature roundworms live in the small intestines and can cause a variety of symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal bloating in cats.
  • Ask your veterinarian for the proper protection from roundworms.

Ear Mites

  • Ear mites find their way indoors on dogs and other pets, then live in your cat’s ears feeding off the ear lining.
  • Ear mites produce coffee ground-like substances.
  • Ear mites are very contagious and are extremely uncomfortable for the cat.
  • Infected pets should be kept from contact with other animals.
  • If left untreated, ear mites can cause permanent damage and even possible hearing loss.
  • Ask your veterinarian for the proper protection from roundworms.

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