"Roundworms & Hookworms Prevention...
As is the case with humans who wish to maintain good health, prevention is the key when it comes to the health of your cat and/or dog. And household pets rely on you (the pet parent/owner) to see that their health needs are taken care of. Two parasites that are easily controlled/prevented are roundworms and hookworms.
There are two types of roundworms that may infect your dog (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina). And there are several ways in which your dog may become infected:
- Nursing pups are infected by the infected mother.
- A pregnant mother will pass the worms on to embryonic young (so that her young will be born w/ the parasites).
- Dogs that consume an infected animal (such as a rat) will then become infected as well.
- During normal grooming, your dog may ingest roundworm eggs that are in the soil.
If you are adopting a cute little puppy and think it is okay to wait on any veterinarian visit, know that most puppies are born with parasites. Once infected, you dog may experience vomiting and diarrhea. The worms may or may not be present in any vomit.
They can be up to seven inches in length, round, and may even still be alive and moving once passed. It is important to note that if you own an infected dog, you and your family are also at risk for infection (along w/ your other household pets).
Cats can become infected by feline roundworms (Toxascaris leonina and Toxocara cati) in the same manner as dogs. They are just as damaging in cats, and humans can also be infected by feline roundworms.
Hookworms can cause your dog or cat to vomit and have severe diarrhea. It is one of the most common parasites in household animals. They pose a health risk to cats and dogs because they feed on your pet’s blood once inside the intestine (where they attach themselves and begin to live on the blood of your cat or dog). This will cause severe anemia.
It is vital that you take all new pets for their initial checkup at the veterinarian. Thereafter, be sure that your pet goes to all annual visits.
During your cat or dog’s first checkup, the doctor will perform a simple fecal test to see if he or she is infected with any parasites. Results take only a minute or two. If parasites are found, the veterinarian will give a de-wormer (which may include a follow-up exam).
Once your pet has been de-wormed, it will be up to you to ensure that he or she does not get infected again. Prevention is the only sure thing when it comes to roundworms and hookworms. Heartgard is very cost effective, easy to use, and can be given to your cat or dog as early as six weeks of age.
It has been proven effective for many years and can be purchased in many places (such as your veterinarian’s office or over the internet). Your cat and/or dog can live a long and healthy life but it is up to you to ensure his or her medical care.
Without using a simple prevention method like Heartgard, your pet can become very ill and cause you more veterinarian bills than you can cover.