In this post, we list the five most common parasites that infect dogs and how you can protect your dog from worms, ticks, and others.
Unfortunately for your dog, there are several common parasites that can infect your best friend. All dogs can become infected, and sometimes these parasites can even be transmitted to humans.Any dog can get parasites, and some can be transmitted to humans.
Any dog can contract parasites, and some of these can be transmitted to humans. There are treatments available for all these, but preventing your dog from becoming infected in the first place is always the best option.
Most Common Dog Parasites
- Intestinal Worms
Fleas are tiny, hard-bodied, flightless insects that are external parasites of mammals and birds. Their source of food is consuming the blood of the host they have attached to. It has strong legs which allow it to jump up to a foot or more.
Flea infestations can be a hassle to deal with for both you and your dog. They can also cause a variety of problems including Flea Allergic Dermatitis, anemia, and tapeworm infection.
Prevention is your best option. You can use a variety of oral flea treatments, topical treatments, shampoos, washes, sprays, and flea collars to protect your dog from fleas. These should especially be used during the warm summer months here in northern Illinois.
Ticks are tiny arachnids and relatives of both mites and spiders. Like fleas, they live on the blood of birds and mammals, including dogs and cats.
Ticks will jump onto your dog (or you!) and attach its jaw into the skin and suck blood until the tick has eaten all it possibly can. They can carry many diseases, including Lyme Disease.
Ticks will usually live in tall grasses and wooded areas. You can use products to prevent ticks from attaching to your dog, but during summer months you should check your dog regularly for ticks, especially after spending time in wooded or tall grassy areas.
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The dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that can spread to your dog through the bite of a mosquito.
It is one of the most dangerous parasites that can infect your dog. It can even lead to death if untreated. Even the treatments to rid your dog of heartworms is bad for your dog’s health.
To prevent heartworms, it is best to give your dog a monthly heartworm prevention. If you have not given your dog a heartworm preventer in months, you should have your dog tested by your veterinarian.
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Intestinal worms that your dog can pick up from the outdoors include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.
Tapeworms can be contracted from fleas; the rest can infect your dog from contaminated soil or infected animals, such as mice or other animals. Some of these can also be transferred to humans.
Protecting your dog from fleas will help protect him or her from tapeworms. Regular veterinary checkups are the best way from preventing serious intestinal worm problems.
There are two types of mites that can affect dogs: Demodex and Sarcoptic (also known as scabies). Mites can live in small numbers on your dog without causing problems. Higher numbers can cause itching, hair loss, and scabs.
Scabies is highly contagious to other dogs and also to humans. It is most often spread through direct contact with other infected dogs or mammals. It can be difficult to prevent because you won’t know when you come in contact with an infected animal.
Treatment can require both oral medication and medicated baths. If you believe your dog may be infected because your dog is showing intense scratching, then you should visit your veterinarian right away.