Screening for Internal and External Parasites
If your pet spends much time outside or comes into contact with other animals, make an appointment at Clinique Vétérinaire Jarry in early spring to perform blood tests to detect the presence of internal parasites, and a physical examination to check for external parasites. Some parasites cause very apparent symptoms such as intense itching, but others may infect your pet without your knowledge and pose a risk to its life.
Preventive Parasite Treatments
The easiest way to protect your cat or dog against parasites is to follow a preventive treatment from June to November, the months when parasites are most active. One of our veterinarians may prescribe a monthly preventive treatment in the form of a chewable tablet or a liquid to administer on your pet’s skin. If your animal is already infected, our veterinarians will recommend the best action to take. It is easy to prevent parasites, but much more difficult and expensive to get rid of them!
If your pet is scratching a lot, it may have caught one of these external parasites outdoors, or by coming in contact with other animals. Ear mites and fleas are more easily treated at the clinic, but mange, which involves loss of fur all over the body, is much more difficult to treat and more dangerous. Ticks can transmit a bacterium that causes Lyme disease and can infect humans. Do not try to remove a tick without the help of a veterinarian, as some parts may remain lodged in your pet’s skin.
Clinique Vétérinaire Jarry can recommend treatments against external parasites as well as a vaccine against Lyme disease, if necessary.
Coccidiosis, giardiasis and toxoplasmosis are microscopic parasitic infections that affect the intestines and that are transmitted to animals by the ingestion of feces. The most common symptom and signal of these infections is chronic diarrhea, sometimes with blood because of the irritation. Clinique Vétérinaire Jarry can do a coprology or a stool test for your pet to determine if one of these infections is the cause for its loose stools. These infections are not severe.
Giardiasis and toxoplasmosis infections are so-called zoonoses, that is to say, they are transmissible to humans. To avoid contracting these parasites, wash your hands after picking up the stool of an infected animal and do not let your pet lick your face. If you have children, you should also cover any sandbox, pick up your pet’s feces in your yard and prevent your child from putting soil in their mouth. Cats carry toxoplasmosis, which can be dangerous for pregnant women without antibodies and their fetuses, but do not worry: it's quite possible to have a baby and keep your cat! Just wash your hands after touching the cat and ask someone else clean the litter box during pregnancy.
Heartworm is a potentially fatal parasite that settles in a dog’s heart and pulmonary arteries. The months of July, August and September are when your pet is most at risk of getting heartworm larvae from a mosquito bite. Asymptomatic at first, heartworm disease can cause weight loss, lethargy, swollen stomach and other symptoms and is difficult to treat. Our clinic recommends a screening blood test every two years and parasite treatments every spring.
Flatworms, whipworms and hookworms are intestinal worms that can cause diarrhea in your pet. Roundworms can cause weight loss, a dull coat and rounded belly. If you notice these symptoms or see worm segments on the hindquarters of your dog or cat, call Clinique Vétérinaire Jarry so we can check to see if your pet is infected with intestinal parasites and recommend the appropriate treatment.