It is 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. This is why it’s important to treat these parasites quickly as possible. Not only for your pet’s health but your own as well.
In this article we will share some of the most Common Parasites In Dogs that pet parents should be made aware of. Preventing and treating parasites and diseases that afflict your dog is both compassionate and cost-effective. Doing preventive parasite treatments will extend the health of your dog.
As with any treatment, only use pet-safe products, follow the label directions carefully and consult your veterinarian before beginning any treatment program.
Below are some of the most common parasites that pet parents need to watch out for. Early detection means a faster recovery for your pet.
Here are some of the most common parasites that pet parents need to be vigilant about:
- Insect Bites and Repellents
- Ear Mites
- Heartworm Prevention
- What is Von Willebrand Disease
- What is Mange
Watch this video of parasites found in dogs
Because fleas are constantly shedding their eggs on your dog, and in your house and yard, there’s a continuous source of re-infestation. So, if you don’t treat both your pet and your environment, you may never get the flea parasites under control.
Here are some suggestions to help control fleas on your dog during the flea season:
- Feed him good quality food (high quality food helps keep pests off him)
- Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a quart of his drinking water
- Provide daily grooming sessions
- Provide regular dog baths
- Vacuum your dog’s bedding, carpets, floors and upholstery daily
- Launder dog’s bedding a couple times per week
- To keep fleas from entering your house sprinkle boric acid or diatomaceous earth around the exterior of your home. You can spray the screens on doors and windows with water mixed with orange oil. This will help fleas from entering your house.
If you think insect bites are causing your dog to itch, see your veterinarian before beginning any treatment. The itching might be caused by an allergy. The most common allergy is flea allergy. Dogs may become allergic to the saliva of fleas. As a result, each flea bite causes intense itching, redness of the skin and small red bumps. Just a few bites on a highly allergic animal may cause a severe reaction.
Plants, pollen and sometimes even food, along with insects, are among the allergens which may induce intense itching. Treatment depends upon your working with your veterinarian to identify and removing the allergen.
Dog repellents are used to keep dogs out of areas where you do not want them to do their business. Find repellents are not harmful to your pet. You can use orange, lemon or grapefruit peels as excellent homemade repellent sources. If you buy a manufactured item in the store, be sure to read the label to ensure it will not be harmful to your pet or the area where it will be sprayed.
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Ear mites are tiny parasites that live on the surface of the skin lining in the ear canal. They pierce the skin surface to feed, causing inflammation and discomfort. If left untreated, bacterial infections and loss of hearing may result.
Below are some possible warning signs for ear mites to look for on your dog or observe any of the following:
- Excessive and persistent scratching around the ears
- Head shaking
- Restless behavior
- The ears are painful to the touch and the pet may cry out in pain
- Brown material present in the ears
- A foul-smelling odor
Dogs with long, floppy ears are more prone to getting ear mite infections. Since air movement is restricted, promoting infection and bacterial growth. If ear mites are present in a multiple-pet household, it is likely that if one animal is treated, the mites will move to another resident. The best preventive measure is to treat all residents for mites.
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This mosquito-transmitted disease can be fatal to your dog. The better course is prevention. It takes powerful drugs and even hospitalization to cure a dog of these parasites, so you should do everything you can to prevent this disease.
Start with an annual test to see if your dog is already carrying these deadly worms. If the test is negative, your veterinarian will recommend a preventive heartworm program for you to follow.
You can help prevent mosquito bites by not having your dog go out at night when mosquitoes are most active. This is especially true in the southern states where mosquitoes are more likely to breed earlier and longer due to the weather conditions. This disease is a concern in all fifty states. However, dogs living in higher elevations, this will not be much of a problem.
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German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Doberman Pinschers are all prone to an inherited type of hemophilia called Von Willebrand disease. Dogs with this bleeding disorder are missing a substance in their blood that promotes clotting, so they bleed excessively if they become injured or have surgery.
If your dog has never been hurt, you may not realize he has this condition. The day-to-day symptoms of Von Willebrand disease can be mild and include arthritis, bloody stool, and bloody gums. A blood test is the only way to diagnose the condition. If it’s positive, the dog should not be bred. There is no cure for Von Willebrand disease, but blood transfusions or medication may help alleviate the symptoms.
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You might call a scruffy dog in ill health a mangy mutt, but mange is a particular skin condition. It’s caused by the infestation of parasitic mites, mange will cause hair loss and itchiness in your pet. One type of mage is called demodex. If demodex spreads over much of the dog’s body, it can be very serious and could require long-term therapy.
The most common type of mange, however, is scabies, which is very infectious among dogs and can even be transmitted to humans. A dog with scabies is restless and will continually scratch, bite, and dig at infected areas. If you notice these symptoms or small, red, infected areas, call your veterinarian at once. Mangy mutts need medicine.
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By knowing about the most common parasites that are found in dogs will help you as the owner on what to do if your pet should encounter one of them. Always, if you should see a change in your pet’s behavior, contact your veterinarian. It is better to be safe than sorry later.
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