Pets are usually susceptible to parasites at some time or another during their lives. They can be contracted in a multitude of places and are present in many different forms. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to treat. Caring for your pet in the best way possible will help to ensure they don’t catch and keep any parasites.
Check your pet over for any evidence of a parasitic infestation. Some, like ticks, are easier to spot because they protrude from an animal’s skin, but others are more difficult to detect. Many parasites can’t be seen with the naked eye, but giveaways are irritation and itching. Your pet’s faeces could also provide some indication as to whether they have parasites, since many are passed out of an animal in this way. Make note of anything unusual when cleaning up after them.
If you think your pet has parasites, take them to the vet as soon as possible to prevent further spreading and infestation. All of the necessary checks will be performed to determine whether there are parasites present, and the extent of the infestation.
Antibiotics and other medication are a common way of treating some parasites. For worms, the vet will physically examine the pet and may request a stool sample. They will then probably prescribe de-worming medication. After removing ticks, your vet may prescribe antibiotics depending on whether your pet needs them. Antibiotics will be administered for other types of parasite as well.
There are home remedies you can try for some parasites. Ticks can usually be removed without the assistance of a vet, as long as you administer the correct treatment. Using a pair of tweezers or similar, grab it by the head, which is the part closest to your pet’s skin, and then pull it out using steady pressure. Check that all parts of the tick have been extracted. Wipe with antiseptic afterwards to prevent the spread of infection, and monitor the site of the wound. Keep any ticks you remove in a sealed, dated bag in the freezer, so that if your pet shows any signs of illness over the next couple of weeks, you can take the ticks to the vet for analysis. Also, flea killers and collars can be purchased over the counter at pet retailers. It is important to never use a product intended for dogs on cats or vice versa, as the effects can be deadly.
Effective prevention is the best way of stopping your pet from contracting parasites. Clean up dog fouling immediately because worm infestations can travel into the environment, only for your pet to repeatedly pick them up. Wash their bed regularly and thoroughly, especially if you see any evidence of fleas or other parasites. Maintain a clean and tidy home with regular vacuuming to stop them from nesting and spreading. Wash your hands after stroking your pet, especially before eating, as worm eggs may be present in the fur. Don’t let your pet lick your mouth and don’t kiss them, as eggs can be transferred in this way. All of these points should be acknowledged as part of treating parasitic infestations, as ridding your home of them helps to prevent them from returning. Also, you must take your pet to the vet for regular check-ups. De-worming tablets and other preventative medication may also be administered to keep parasites at bay.
We recommend that if you know or suspect your pet has parasites that you take them to the vet. This applies even if you think you have got rid of the problem yourself, as your vet can carry out certain tests that simply can’t be performed in the home. Also, we suggest you consult your vet before buying any products over the counter, to ensure these are safe and effective treatments to give to your pet before use.