This month at 4 Paws Veterinary Hospital we are talking about all those creepy crawlers and weird wrigglers that might be keeping our furry friends company – parasites! There is a ton to know about this subject, so here are some basics – the bottom lines of what you need to know as a dog or cat owner regarding parasites.

1 – There are internal and external parasites
When we talk about internal parasites, we are referring to things like hookworm, whipworm, roundworm, tapeworms, heartworm, giardia, toxoplasma, coccidia. The list goes on, but those are some of the main parasites we are worried about that take-up residence inside our canine and feline friends. When we talk about external parasites, we are referring to things like fleas, ticks, mites, lice etc. – those things that populate the outside of the body.

2 – Different medications target different parasites
Generally speaking, most parasite medications target either internal or external parasites. More and more, we see new products that target both, but there are still a lot of products that target one or the other. As an example, that’s why many of you will have been recommended to use BOTH Nexgard or Bravecto (external parasites) and Interceptor or Heartgard (internal parasites).

3 – Some parasites act as vectors (TRANSMITTERS) for other parasites or diseases.
An easy example of this is deer ticks and Lyme disease. Another example would be fleas and tapeworm. It is yet another reason to provide your dog or cat with parasite prevention medication!

Call us today to book an appointment or if you have any questions.

Written by: Anna Swick-Coryell, DVM