Common Pet Parasites
Think your pet is sick? It could be a parasite. Parasites are extremely common in cats and dogs. To help keep your pet healthy, keep an eye out for the parasite warning signs we’ve highlighted below. If you do think your pet has a parasite, bring him in to see one of our veterinarians! Our professional staff is trained to identify and treat parasites.
Click the appointment button to the right or give us a call at 240-252-7467240-252-7467 to schedule a visit!
What Are Pet Parasites?
Parasites aren’t bacteria or viruses—they’re actually organisms using your pet as a “host,” a place to eat, live, and reproduce. By attaching themselves to your pet, the parasite gains strength and resilience as it makes your pet weaker. For example, fleas and ticks can weaken your pet’s immune system and can cause health problems like anemia or even Lyme disease.
Scheduling regular wellness appointments with us is a great way to keep your pet’s health in check and make sure he or she is getting the right vaccinations and care. At home, conduct regular examinations of your pet’s skin and fur—these are the most common entry points for parasites.
Common Pet Parasites
Common pet parasites include:
- Fleas – The most common parasite in cats and dogs. If you notice your pet seems more itchy than normal, bring him to see us. We’ll determine if fleas or another kind of dermatitis are the culprit. We can also help you with prescription preventative flea measures, which are the safest and most effective treatments.
- Ticks – In Maryland, ticks are extremely dangerous and can lead to Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Canine Ehrlichiosis. Schedule an appointment with us to learn more about ticks and how you can keep them from infecting your pet.
- Heartworms – Pets can contract heartworms from mosquito bites containing the heartworm larvae. As the larvae mature, they infect your pet’s heart. Heartworm is fatal if untreated and easily preventable with prescription medication.
- Intestinal Parasites – Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms are the most common intestinal parasites. Left untreated, they can lead to other intestinal infections, intestinal bleeding, malnutrition, and death.
- Ear Mites – Ear mites look like coffee grounds in the ear canal. If left untreated, your pet could go deaf! Call us if you think your pet has ear mites to prevent further complications.
Treating Pet Parasites at Germantown Vet
If you notice any changes in your pet’s health or behavior, schedule an appointment with us. We’ll do a full work up and determine if their symptoms are from a parasite. Methods we use when treating pet parasites include, but are not limited to:
- Lab work to check for infections, white blood cell count, iron levels, and other signs that indicate parasite infection
- Fecal examinations to check for intestinal parasites
- Thorough skin and fur examinations to check for ticks, fleas, and other insect bites
- Checking your pet’s eyes and ears for other signs of infection
Schedule Your Pet’s Appointment Today
Since 1983, the experts at Germantown Vet have been here to help the dogs, cats, and pocket pets of Montgomery County, MD and the surrounding areas. Our facility is one of the largest, most-well equipped clinics in the area, and we’re proud to provide exceptional service. If you believe your pet has a parasite, schedule your appointment immediately. Our expert staff will assess your pet and begin treatment right away.