Parasites feed on (ectoparasites) or live within other animals (endoparasites). The most well-known offenders are fleas and ticks, representing only one part of the issue. Mites, lice, heartworm, and various intestinal and other parasites are also frequent. Parasites can cause slight annoyance to significant illnesses that, if left untreated, can be devastating to a pet’s health. Parasites are also harmful to human health. Some parasites in pets produce zoonotic infections, which means they can spread from pets to humans.
Take, for example, fleas, the most frequent ectoparasite on dogs and cats. These blood-sucking insects cause dermatitis and transport and spread disease to other animals and humans, such as the tapeworm and the bacterial Bartonella, which causes Bartonellosis, often known as cat scratch sickness. Fleas are more than simply a nuisance.
What do we need to know about these parasites?
Ticks are just as dangerous as fleas. They cause irritation or inflammation when they cling to the pet’s skin and are second only to mosquitos as human disease carriers. Dogs can have periodic infestations involving either a few ticks or massive infestations, resulting in common cat illness symptoms like anemia, weight loss, and even death.
Danger From Sand Flies
Another serious issue is canine Leishmaniasis; a fatal parasite disease carried to dogs by the bites of infected sandflies. Sand flies, despite their name, are more commonly found in rural or wooded settings than on beaches. Different clinical forms of Leishmaniasis can be seen in over 80 countries, albeit not all employ dogs as hosts. Canine Leishmaniasis is present throughout southern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, and parts of Mexico, Central America, and Asia, including northwestern China.
Heartworm Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes
Mosquito bites can be deadly for dogs because they can transmit heartworm or filariasis, two severe parasitic diseases. Heartworm illness can be found in almost every section of the United States and many portions of Canada, as well as in southern Europe and the tropics. It is the most dangerous parasite in dogs because it affects the heart and can harm other internal organs. If the sickness is not addressed, it might be fatal. Because humans are unnatural hosts for heartworm, incidences of human infection are uncommon.
How can we address this problem?
A holistic strategy focusing on dietary changes, lifestyle variables, and specific supplementation is required to eradicate a parasite infestation through veterinary laser therapy. This indicates that we are going beyond merely providing temporary symptom relief and are assisting your pet’s body in curing parasite-related illnesses. It also implies that once the parasite and other infections have been gone and your pet’s gut has been repaired, its body will be healthy and strong enough to fight off any future attempts at reinfection or other opportunistic diseases.
Cat & dog parasite prevention services can prevent most parasite illnesses. Pet owners may need to learn how to safeguard their pets and families. First, always wash your hands after handling pets and before eating. Grooming reduces coat contamination. Most intestinal worms are spread via worm eggs or larvae in pet excrement; cleaning them routinely protects people and the environment. Good hygiene is vital, but so are endoparasite and ectoparasite prevention and treatment. Because regional dangers differ, see a vet for preventative steps.
Re-infestation with fleas is extremely likely in many parts of the world, so regular prophylaxis with an approved treatment is often advised. While flea infestations are more common in the summer and autumn, studies show that they can occur anytime; therefore, year-round flea management is ideal for pets. Recent research has yielded unique items that can address specific pet and pet owner needs. Products that contain ingredients that become active only once inside the flea, for example, reduce exposure to potent pesticides on pets, their owners, and the home. Oral products also last longer, are more convenient and lessen the possibility of protection gaps.
Spot-on Collar Products
To prevent ticks and sandfly bites on dogs, insecticidal products such as chewable tablets, a spot-on, or a collar are available. Spot-on products contain a small amount of liquid containing an acaricide administered as a drop to the skin on the back of the dog’s neck, protecting it from tick bites for up to one month. Acaricide collars can save for up to 6 months. Prevention against sand fly bites is especially crucial in high-risk areas: prevention of Leishmaniasis is significantly easier than therapy, which is not curative.
All dogs and cats should begin a regular deworming treatment regardless of age. Most canine and feline diseases are spread through contact with soil, grass, and paved surfaces. Adult animals should get treated at least four times a year, but younger animals and those at higher risk should get treatment more frequently. The variety of formulations available is helpful if your pet is resistant to deworming therapy. There are chewable tablets, powders, and pastes are available.