Be it cat or cow, pig or pug, all animals can carry a host of internal and/or external parasites. Examples of parasites include ticks, fleas, GI worms, heartworm, and mites.
Are parasites a “big deal”?
Parasites can cause many problems for an animal and their owner. Internal gastrointestinal worms can disrupt an animal’s ability to properly digest their food and put on weight or absorb critical nutrition. Internal blockages can also occur which can lead to death of the animal. External parasites can lead to skin infections and loss of condition. In addition, zoonotic parasites can transmit to humans and pose health risks for you and your family as well.
What are “Zoonotic” parasites?
Zoonotic parasites are specific organisms that can pass from an animal to a human. Our pets and livestock are common carriers of these pests. Common examples include tape and round worms, fleas, ringworm, ticks and giardia!
How do you check to see if my animal has parasites?
External parasites such as ticks and fleas may be found with an examination. Others, such as mites, may be identified with a skin scraping and microscope exam. For internal parasites such as GI worms or heartworm, we can screen for many of these either with an in-house blood test or an in-house fecal analysis. For some parasites, we may send off a sample to one of the reference laboratories we work with that can perform even more refined screening.
How do you treat for parasites?
Depending on the species of the animal and the parasites being targeted, there are a variety of options available to owners. A discussion with our medical staff at Potlatch Veterinary Clinic can help you feel confident about what options would work best for your situation.