Dog Parasites: Fleas and Heart Worm

We’ve battled them in both lifestyles – the concrete jungles as well as the forest surrounded fields.

For years they seem to disappear from our lives, only to return again whenever a new dog enters into our lives or a stray cat is brought home.

They’re fleas, ticks, and internal parasites and they’re sickening when you think about them. They don’t just affect the animals in your house, or pets, but also the humans who live with the animals and the livestock in the barn.

We might also go into topics on lice on chickens, West Nile trouble with larger animals, but most common troubles on the farm are flea bite allergies in our dogs.

Flea bites induce allergic reactions therefore causing an animal, even a human animal, to start scratching. Severe infestation results in severe dermatitis.

Fleas also cause a hyper-sensitivity in a dog or cat, causing them to scratch so violently that their hide becomes hyperemic. Lack of sleep, due to the constant bites by the fleas, perpetuates the severity of the condition and the animal’s immune system weakens.

Bites can also become infected via a bacterial infection.

Close observation of your animal at all times alleviates the worry of your dog’s sensitivity or infestation of fleas, ticks, or lice.

Treatments for Fleas

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Medicated (or flea) collars are available. These aid in the treatment and prevention of severe infestation – but should not be considered a cure.

It is always best to get an animal to a veterinarian in severe cases.

Many commercial products are useful to deal with parasitic conditions (internal or external) with just one single dose. Veterinarian prescribed drugs are highly effective and are available in both injection and oral form. Topical treatments are also available.

Further Complications

Heart worm in dogs need to be eliminated by following appropriate medications in them.

Many products are available to small animals (pets) to protect them from heart worms, fleas and other parasites like hook worms, whip worms, round worms, lice, and ticks.

Observation of anemia, loose stools, pot bellies, and lethargy is best related to a veterinarian which may or may not require a fecal exam, hematological exam or a blood smear.

Secondary complications in an animals health are always possible. For instance, hookworm can cause anemia. Hookworm larvae pass directly through the skin and cause problems.

How can you tell if your dog has a presence of hook worms?

Abrasions in his feet or hide. Rashes or loose stool, which is stained red with blood and mucus.

As for the pot belly condition, this is often a case of round worms. Piperazine salts are given orally as treatment. However get to your veterinarian for specialized care, especially if the animal is young.

Heart Worm Prevention

Heart worm medications (as a prevention) as well as protection from mosquitoes are great preventative measures. In some countries you won’t need to worry about mosquitoes year round.

Heartgard, Sentinel, Interceptor, and Revolution are some of the commercially available drugs as a preventive measure.

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