Parasite Control FAQs Answered By Our Carol Stream Veterinarian
Parasites are a very real concern for pets and their two-legged companions, according to our Carol Stream veterinarian. Parasites are organisms that literally feed off of their hosts in both humans and animals. Pets sometimes get internal parasites like worms or external parasites like ticks and fleas, which can be dangerous if not treated and controlled aggressively. Here are some common FAQs about parasite control.
1. How are Fleas and Ticks Dangerous to Pets and Humans?
Fleas and ticks pose serious health threats to both pets and people, as many of these external parasites carry pathogens that can spread between animals and also be transmitted to humans, according to our West Chicago vet. Infections such as Rickettsiosis can result from ticks, and fleas can cause Bartonella infections and even serve as a host for tapeworms, both of which are transmittable to humans.
2. What is the Best Way to Control External Parasites Like Fleas and Ticks?
Modern options for flea and tick control are highly effective and typically work for at least 30 days. These options include:
Topical Solutions: Simply apply the liquid solution to the skin on your pet's neck, and it takes effect within 24 hours to kill and prevent external parasites.
Oral Tablets: Pets with sensitive skin can take a chewy ‘treat’ that will begin working within 48 hours.
Flea and Tick Collars: These take longer to work but offer protection ranging from 6-8 months.
There are also combination options such as tablets and topicals that offer additional protection against heartworms.
3. What Common Internal Parasites Infect Pets?
The most common type of internal parasites in pets are worms such as hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and roundworms. Intestinal worms are highly prolific, and just one worm can lay over 100,000 eggs each day. These eggs pass through the animal’s stool and typically get spread around in areas pets frequent, and may present a health threat to pets and humans for many years. Treatment is available for certain types of worms that can be eradicated with medications. Heartworms are another threat to pet health. They are challenging to treat and are often fatal in cats and dogs. However, preventives can help stave off heartworms.
4. Can Internal Worms Be Transmitted to Humans?
The most common worms that end up being transmitted to humans are roundworms. This occurs during accidental ingestion of one of those eggs that infected pets leave behind. The ingested egg will hatch within the human intestinal tract and ultimately lay its own eggs that can then travel throughout the body, brain and even the eyes and result in serious illness or infections.
5. How are Internal Parasites Detected and Treated?
Our West Chicago area vet can take a small stool sample during an office visit to detect many types of worms. However, there may be other signs that are recognizable including visibly seeing worms in pet’s stool. Other indications of worms include:
- Bloody Stool
- Weight Loss
- Overall Poor Appearance
- Vomiting (Worms May be Present)
See your veterinarian in Carol Stream right away if these symptoms present themselves.
Contact Carol Stream Animal Hospital
Looking for more information about pet parasites or want to have a comprehensive exam to see if your pet has issues with them? Contact Carol Stream Animal Hospital at (630) 462-7888 today. We serve residents of Wheaton, West Chicago, and the surrounding communities.