Though parasite infestation is not a pleasant subject, it is something that every dog owner needs to be cautious about and take steps to prevent. Heartworm and tapeworm infestations can have negative, and sometimes serious, consequences to your dogs health and well-being. Knowing what puts your pet at risk of catching these worms is the best way of knowing how to prevent infection. In this blog, I'm going to give you some advice on what puts dogs at risk of getting worms, as well as explaining which pet meds you can use to treat infections and stop them happening.
What Puts Dogs At Risk Of Heartworm?
Heartworm is one of the most dangerous types of parasitic worm to affect dogs and cause breathing and circulatory difficulties. This is because they live inside the organs, including the heart and lungs. Animals that have heartworm who do not get proper treatment with suitable pet meds can die as a result of the infection.
What puts dogs at risk of picking up heartworm? You might be surprised that mosquitoes are to blame. A mosquito which feeds on a heartworm infected animal (either a pet or a wild animal such as a coyote) becomes the intermediate host, and carrier for the heartworm larvae. When this mosquito bites another animal, the larvae passes into the victim"s bloodstream, where it develops into a mature worm. This means then, that minimizing your dog's chances of being bitten by a mosquito is an essential. Keep pets indoors at times when mosquitoes are most active (between dusk and dawn) and consider using pet-friendly mosquito repellents such as citronella. Although these measures are helpful, it is impossible to be 100% sure that your pet will not be bitten by a mosquito. So, you should also take advantage of a pet med which will eliminate and prevent heartworm. The pet med with the best results and highest level of efficacy for this purpose is Revolution. Revolution protects against several types of parasites and is sold as an easy to use formula which is applied directly to the dog's skin.
What Puts Dogs At Risk of Tapeworm?
Tapeworm is a general name for a number of different types of parasitic worm which live inside your dog's digestive system, where they absorb nutrients from the food that your pet eats. While the effects of tapeworm are often less dramatic than those of heartworm, a long-term worm infection will leave a dog listless and in poor condition. Dogs with worms can also put people at risk, especially children.
What puts a dog at risk of catching tapeworm? There are several routes of transmission, the most basic being in contact with other dogs. Worms can be passed from one dog to another by sharing toys or food bowls, or just from physical contact. Dogs can also pick up worm eggs from their environment. For example, contact with feces-contaminated soil. Like mosquitoes for heartworm, fleas are an intermediate host for certain types of tapeworm. Instead of passing on the larvae through their bite, fleas can pass on tapeworm if the dog accidentally swallows it. Small animals which a dog might catch and eat (such as mice and rabbits) are also to blame for carrying worms. Reducing your dogs" risk of tapeworm can be tricky because there are so many ways of worms being passed on. Droncit is the pet med which is usually used both to treat and prevent worms. It is a tablet which can be given whole or mixed with food for convenience, and eliminates worms completely within 24 hours. You should also be vigilant against fleas and use a pet med which is specifically designed to prevent flea infestation, such as Frontline Plus.