What Are Parasites in Dogs?
There are two main types of parasites in dogs: internal and external parasites.
eg hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms live inside the body of the dog and they can be transferred in various ways and can affect many organs.
External parasites, such as fleas and ticks, live on the body of the dog i.e. their coat, and can produce an infestation.
Parasites can be extremely irritating, cause serious health issues and even carry diseases. Some parasites in dogs are also zoonotic, which means a disease or parasite that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Signs that your dog may have Parasites
Symptoms can vary depending on the type of parasite, Most intestinal parasites do not show symptoms until the infestation has become severe. Parasites can cause symptoms ranging from mild discomfort and intermittent loose stool to severe issues such as anemia, skin disease, malnutrition, and other infections. It is really important to treat your dog quickly if an infestation occurs.
Internal Parasite Symptoms
- Diarrhea, with or without blood or mucous
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Distended abdomen (pot-bellied appearance)
- Decreased activity
- Worms or segments (tapeworms) visible in the feces
- Difficulty breathing
External Parasite Symptoms
- Excessive scratching
- Excessive chewing
- Red and inflamed skin
- Hair loss
- Crusting and discoloration of the skin
- Dry coat
- Scaly appearance to fur
- Large amounts of black debris in ears
- Fleas or flea dirt
- Restless behavior
How does my dog get Parasites?
- Fleas can be caught from many places for example other infected animal wildlife and from your home environment!
- Ticks are caught from traveling through bushes and long grass.
- Intestinal parasites are usually transmitted when an animal ingests the eggs or spores in contaminated soil, water, or food. Puppies can contract a parasite from their mothers, either in utero or from nursing.
- Tapeworms can be contracted by dogs when they eat an infected flea and heartworms are contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Treating your dog
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from an internal parasite, the first step will be to identify the parasite with your vet. There is no single medication that can treat and prevent all internal parasites and once your vet identifies the parasite, they can find the most effective treatment for your dog.
In severe cases of internal and external parasites, dehydration, anemia, and secondary infections can occur and your vet will treat as needed along with medication to kill the parasites.
How often should I worm my dog?
At least every three months. Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, more regular worming may need to be undertaken and it is recommended this be discussed with your vet if you are concerned.
How often should I flea my dog?
Every 4 weeks for optimal protection – year-round, leaving no gaps.
How common are fleas on dogs?
Fleas are more common than you might think. The flea’s life cycle consists of four stages:
- Adult flea
- Flea egg
- Fea larvae
- Flea pupae
Only adult fleas live on your dog. All the other life stages live in the environment of the dog, for example, his bed, the carpets, your sofa cushions, and the car.
Therefore, to make any inroads into controlling a flea infestation, it’s essential to treat your dog’s environment as well as your dog.
A good home flea spray will be effective for many months against the flea eggs and larvae, but, unfortunately, there is no product on the market that can kill the flea when it’s in its pupal stage. Fleas can remain dormant in their pupal stage for many months, hatching out when conditions are optimal. This means a flea infestation can appear several months after the treatment was missed.
House Of Hounds have a very strict receme when it comes to bio security in the salon. We have invested healvly in the health and saftey of our staff and dogs in our care and we undertake regular preventive mesaures against parasites.
House Of Hounds have a strict no groom policy in place for any dog found with paracites and charges will apply. Which is outlined in our T&C’s.