Intestinal parasites are a common cause of disease for dogs. While you may know that your furry friend can be affected by external parasites like fleas and ticks, intestinal parasites can also get inside your pet and wreak all sorts of havoc.
For dogs, they can get afflicted by intestinal parasites from a variety of different routes, such as your pooch ingesting parasite spores or eggs from contaminated water, soil, feces or food, causing weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, malnutrition, and anemia. Along with making our pets sick, some of these parasites can even affect people, too.
In our area this time of year, Giardia is especially prevalent. Giardia is an intestinal parasite that can be easily transmitted to pets if they drink feces-contaminated water. While infected pets may not show symptoms initially, giardia can cause persistent diarrhea and can sometimes be difficult to clear. Unlike heartworm, there are no drugs or vaccines that can be given to prevent giardia—your best bet is to make sure your pet doesn’t drink from puddles.
Prevention is always the ideal way to protect your animal companion from intestinal parasites. For the most part, monthly heartworm medications contain a broad de-wormer that will keep your pet safe from heartworm as well as many intestinal parasites. Your dog should already be on heartworm preventative due to the nature of our climate in Houston, but if they aren’t, please bring them by Garden Oaks Veterinary Clinic where we can recommend a product.
Along with keeping your doggie updated on preventatives, regular vet visits with annual stool checks are the best way to keep your pet protected.