Parasites like fleas, ticks, and roundworms used to be considered just a nuisance. Now, however, we know that parasites can cause serious illness and even death in pets. Ticks can transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella – the bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans. Heartworms, are transmitted by mosquitoes and live in your pet’s lungs and heart, causing damage to these organs, and sometimes even death. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, also threaten pets and are transmissible to humans.
You may not always be able to tell if your pet has parasites. Fleas can hide under your pet’s fur, and some ticks are very tiny (only the size of a pinhead), so they are very difficult to find. Intestinal parasites like roundworms can cause diarrhea and other problems, but many infected pets don’t show any signs of illness at all.
Veterinary examinations and parasite testing are important ways to protect your pet’s health. Smithfield Animal Hospital's staff can examine your pet for evidence of fleas, ticks, or other parasites, and recommend medications to help control and prevent these parasites. Ask our doctors and staff to discuss what signs of parasites you can look for at home, review ways to control parasites in and around your home, discuss treatment options if your pet has parasites, and recommend ways to control and prevent parasites in the future.
Preventing parasites in your pets also helps protect children and other family members. Parasites are not just a nuisance. They can carry serious diseases that affect your pet’s overall health. Call Smithfield Animal Hospital at (757)357-9308 today and let us help you protect your pet!