Common Parasites and Diseases
Preventing and treating parasites and diseases that afflict your dog is both compassionate and cost-effective. As with any treatment, only use pet-safe products, follow the label directions careful and consult your veterinarian before beginning any treatment program. Here are some of the most common one’s that pet owner’s need to be vigilant about.
Because fleas are constantly shedding their eggs on your dog, and in your house and yard, there’s a continuous source of re-infestation. So if you don't treat both your pet and your environment, you may never get the fleas under control.
INSECT BITES AND REPELLENTS
If you think insect bites are causing your dog to itch, see your veterinarian before beginning any treatment.
The itching might be caused by an allergy. The most common allergy is flea allergy. Dogs may become allergic to the saliva of fleas. As a result, each flea bite causes intense itching, redness of the skin and small red bumps. Just a few bites on a highly allergic animal may cause a severe reaction. Plants, pollen and sometimes even food, along with insects, are among the allergens which may induce intense itching. Treatment depends upon your working with your veterinarian to identify and remove the allergen.
Ear mites are tiny parasites that live on the surface of the skin lining in the ear canal. They pierce the skin surface to feed, causing inflammation and discomfort. If left untreated, bacterial infections and loss of hearing may result.
The warning signs for ear mites include:
- Excessive and persistent scratching around the ears
- Head shaking
- Restless behavior
- The ears are painful to the touch and the pet may cry out in pain
- Brown material present in the ears
- A foul-smelling odor
Dogs with long, floppy ears are more prone to ear mite infections. since air movement is restricted, promoting infection and bacterial growth.
If ear mites are present in a multiple-pet household, it is likely that if one animal is treated, the mites will move to another resident. The best preventive measure is to treat all residents for mites.
This mosquito-transmitted disease can be fatal to your dog. The better course is prevention. It takes powerful drugs and even hospitalization to cure a dog of these parasites, so you should do everything possible to prevent this disease.
Start with an annual test to see if your dog is already carrying these deadly worms. If the test is negative, your veterinarian will recommend a preventive heartworm medication.