I actually don’t wish to ‘open up a can of worms’ for pet house owners. However, I do suppose it’s vital for house owners to understand about worms or parasites which will have an impact on their pet’s health. It’s a tangle that we must always be ready to eliminate as a priority for pets and therefore the individuals in their families.
We are lucky to live in a country where it’s rather common to recognize the threat of parasites to our human health.
It is vital to remember that our pets, when it comes to parasites, live in rather a unique world. We have to be aware of actions that we should take, for both our pets and ourselves, to make sure those 2 worlds don’t collide.
Roundworms, referred to as ascarids in medical language, are the internal parasites to discuss. They’re known as roundworms thanks to their round body form. Adults, that live in the small bowel of cats and dogs, will reach many centimetres in length. There are four species that are problematic in our area. Three species affects dogs (Ancylostoma caninum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis), two species affects cats (Toxocara cati, Ancylostoma tubaeforme), and three species could infect either dogs or cats (Physaloptera spp. Uncinaria stenocephala, Ancylostoma brasiliense). Another species of roundworm that primarily infects raccoons (Baylisascaris procyonis) is becoming more of a concern for individuals and pets, as raccoon numbers increase in our neighbourhoods. Roundworms are a common parasite of dogs and cats around the world. Recent studies within the U.S. found that over thirty per cent of dogs younger that six months were shedding roundworm eggs in their stools. Alternative studies have shown that nearly all pups are born with one species of the worm. Cat studies suggest twenty five per cent of cats are infected with the species that most frequently infects them.
Dogs and cats will become infected with roundworms in an exceedingly number of different ways. They can be infected with any of the roundworm species via consumption of infective roundworm eggs from a contaminated surrounding. If they consume other animals that are infected with roundworms, cats and dogs might become infected. Infective stages of the roundworm usually affecting dogs can be passed to puppies by ingesting their mother’s milk. In addition, that very same kind of roundworm could spread from infected mothers to developing puppies, in utero, before they’re born.
Disease in dogs and cats that become infected with roundworms is most severe in young kittens and puppies. They fail to gain weight, develop a pot-bellied look, have a poor quality haircoat and generally do poorly. It’s not uncommon in animals 4-6 months old to vomit large masses of adult worms. once such a thing happens, it can be nearly as distressful for members of the family of the pet as it is for the pet itself. On the other hand these adult worms that have been vomited, don’t create any threat of infection to other pets or individuals. In older animals the parasites could cause inflammation and irritation to the lining tissues of the stomach and small intestines that leads to diarrhea and/or vomiting.
Whenever a dog or cat becomes infected with this sort of parasite, eventually the worm reaches adulthood within the small intestine. Within a number of weeks the adult worms begin to produce eggs that are passed in the feces. The eggs typically need 2-4 weeks within the environment before they become infective or are able to cause infection. However, once this happens the eggs are quite hardy and may remain a threat to cause infection, if they’re eaten, for many years. Puppies who might be infected before birth ought to have regular deworming starting when they are two weeks old. Diagnosis of infection in older animals depends on identifying eggs of the parasite within the animal’s stool. One adult roundworm could produce as many as eighty five eggs per day. This implies if there are worms present, it shouldn’t be a drag for your vet to diagnose the problem. There are numerous of typically very effective medications that can be utilized to eliminate the parasites from an infected cat or dog. To treat potential newly-acquired infections of roundworms, the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends dogs and cats ought to be maintained on monthly intestinal parasite control medications. periodically, stool examinations from pets ought to be performed by veterinarians to assure they’re free from roundworm infections.
There is a danger of roundworms posing a zoonotic danger to individuals. Most typically this can be a problem for kids living in an surrounding exceedingly contaminated with dog feces when they ingest infective roundworm eggs with dirt, especially in parks traveled by dogs. The larvae of Toxocara canis that develop from these eggs, after consumption, migrate internally through the child’s body and in so doing could cause very serious disease called creeping eruption or cutaneous larva migrans. Control of those parasites is indeed a crucial element of responsible pet ownership. Studies show that the prevalence of creeping eruption is considerably higher in children playing parks with uncontrolled dog movement compared to parks where dogs are not allowed. This permits for optimal health for pets and elimination of any increased risk to members of the family from roundworms.
Q: My cat likes to catch and eat bugs. Can they make her sick?
A: Cats do love to stalk bugs. Anything that flies, hops or crawls – flies, moths, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders – catches their attention and activates their hunting instincts. Insects make up a third of the diet of small wildcats and are popular with domestic cats as well.
In most cases, crunching a few bugs isn’t going to do your cat any harm. Think of them as the feline equivalent of potato chips. As always, however, there can be exceptions.
Stink bugs, for instance, may exude a nasty-tasting liquid when bitten. (We know this because humans have reported accidentally biting into them.) It’s not necessarily poisonous, but it can cause drooling or vomiting or irritate your cat’s digestive tract.
If spiders such as black widows or brown recluses bite back, their venom can cause serious illness or death. Bees or wasps may sting the mouth. Seemingly harmless ladybugs (Asian lady beetles) can cause chemical burns in a pet’s mouth or digestive tract. Lightning bugs, also known as fireflies, produce chemicals that give them a bitter taste and may cause your cat digestive upset. Certain caterpillars are highly toxic or are protected by painful spines or stinging hairs. As with plants, the most colorful insects are most likely to be toxic.
Bugs can carry parasites. Cats can get stomach worms from eating beetles, cockroaches and crickets. That’s one good reason to give your cat a parasite preventive year-round. And if bugs have been poisoned by insecticides and are then eaten in large numbers by your cat, he could become sick.
Otherwise, just think of insects as an additional source of protein for your little carnivore.
I certainly do not want to ‘open up a can of worms’ for pet owners. However, I do think it’s important for owners to know about worms or parasites that can have an effect on their pet’s health. It is a problem that we should be able to eliminate as a concern for pets and the people in their families.
We are fortunate to live in a country where it is rather easy to forget about the threat of parasites to our human health.
It is important to remember that our pets, when it comes to parasites, live in rather a different world. We need to be aware of actions we must take, for both our pets and ourselves, to ensure those two worlds do not collide.
Roundworms, known as ascarids in medical terminology, are the internal parasites to discuss this time. They are called roundworms because of their round body shape. Adults, who live in the small intestine of cats and dogs, can reach several centimetres in body length. There are four species that are a problem in our area. One species affects dogs, one species affects cats and one species can infect either dogs or cats. Another species of roundworm that primarily infects raccoons is becoming more of a concern for people and pets, as raccoon numbers increase in our neighbourhoods. Roundworms are a very common parasite of dogs and cats around the world. Recent studies in the U.S. found that more than 30 per cent of dogs younger that six months of age were shedding roundworm eggs in their stools. Other studies have shown that virtually all pups are born with one species of the worm. Cat studies suggest 25 per cent of cats are infected with the species that most frequently infects them.
Dogs and cats can become infected with roundworms in a number of different ways. They can be infected with any of the roundworm species via ingestion of infective roundworm eggs from a contaminated environment. If they consume other animals that are infected with roundworms, cats and dogs may become infected. Infective stages of the roundworm commonly affecting dogs can be passed to puppies by ingesting their mother’s milk. Additionally, that same type of roundworm can spread from infected mothers to developing puppies, in utero, before they are born.
Disease in dogs and cats that become infected with roundworms is most severe in young kittens and puppies. They fail to gain weight, develop a pot-bellied appearance, have a poor quality haircoat and in general do poorly. It is not uncommon in animals 4-6 months of age to vomit large masses of adult worms. When such a thing happens, it can be almost as distressful for family members of the pet as it is for the pet itself. However these adult worms that have been vomited, do not pose any threat of infection to other pets or people. In older animals the parasites can cause inflammation and irritation to the lining tissues of the stomach and small intestines that results in diarrhea and/or vomiting.
Whenever a dog or cat becomes infected with this kind of parasite, eventually the worm reaches adulthood in the small intestine. Within a few weeks the adult worms begin to produce eggs that are passed in the feces. The eggs usually require 2-4 weeks in the environment before they become infective or are able to cause infection. However, once this occurs the eggs are quite hardy and can remain a threat to cause infection, if they are ingested, for several years. Puppies who may have been infected before birth should have regular dewormings beginning when they are two weeks old. Diagnosis of infection in older animals relies on identifying eggs of the parasite in the animal’s stool. A single adult roundworm can produce as many as 85,000 eggs per day. This means if there are worms present, it should not be a problem for your veterinarian to diagnose the problem. There are a number of usually very effective medications that can be used to eliminate the parasites from an infected cat or dog. To treat potential newly-acquired infections of roundworms, the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends dogs and cats should be maintained on monthly intestinal parasite control medications. Periodically, stool examinations from pets should be performed by veterinarians to assure they are free from roundworm infections.
There is a danger of roundworms posing a zoonotic danger to people. Most commonly this is a problem for children living in a contaminated environment when they ingest infective roundworm eggs. The larvae that develop from these eggs, after ingestion, migrate internally through the child’s body and in so doing can cause very serious disease. Control of these parasites is indeed an important component of responsible pet ownership. This allows for optimal health for pets and elimination of any increased risk to family members from roundworms.
By Barry Burtis Guest Contributor
Barry Burtis is a local companion animal veterinarian. Past Pet Tales can be found at www.baycitiesanimalhospital.ca.
Original Source: http://www.insidehalton.com/opinion-story/5962639-protecting-cats-dogs-from-worms-parasites/
Original Source: http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifestyle/pets/pet-points-heartworm-prevention-for-cats-and-dogs/35303662
What are the latest recommendations for preventing heartworm disease in my dog and cat?
With summer fading away and temperatures cooling down, many people may be considering stopping their monthly heartworm preventative for the winter. While many pet owners associate heartworm disease with the onset of spring, the American Heartworm Society has made clear recommendations to maintain dogs and cats on year-round heartworm preventative.
Heartworm disease is as horrible as it sounds. Through a simple mosquito bite, worms infect an animal, travel through the tissues into the bloodstream, and once mature end up in the pulmonary arteries, heart, and lungs. The worms can grow to be anywhere from 4 to 12 inches long, can cause severe damage to the lungs and arteries and in some cases can lead to heart failure and the death of the animal.
The Michigan Humane Society treats many dogs in each of our veterinary clinics each year, but we also find that many of the dogs that are surrendered to us or come into our animal care centers as strays are infected with heartworm. MHS does treat dogs for heartworm, but it is a very expensive, time consuming and difficult process.
Ronaldo, the bulldog pictured above, is one of the dogs who MHS is currently treating for heartworm. Ronaldo came into our care as a stray, and was very skinny and anemic. He had to battle an upper respiratory infection as well as gain some weight before he was healthy enough to begin heartworm treatment. He is currently on medications to prepare him for the treatment and will receive his first injection in about two weeks.
Dogs like Ronaldo, who are living on the streets and exposed to the elements, are especially at risk for heartworm. If you own a dog, you have a responsibility to keep them from being infected. Ronaldo had no caregiver looking out for him. If you already give your dog monthly heartworm preventative – keep it up! Heartworm is a deadly disease but can be prevented simply by giving a medication once a month. This medication can be prescribed by your veterinarian after a blood test to determine that your dog is not infected with heartworm.
The heartworm treatment process involves a series of intramuscular injections that are designed to kill the worms that are living in the vessels of the heart. While the worms are dying off, the dog’s body must break them down and process them slowly. Because of this, dogs must be very calm and inactive during the treatment (usually about 6-8 weeks) in order to keep their heart rate down and to help prevent complications from the treatment.
We will follow up with Ronaldo in a couple of weeks on this blog, so readers can see the difficult process of treating heartworm, and how it negatively impacts the dog going through treatment. Prevention is much easier than treating the disease, and much cheaper.
Most owners of dogs and cats think of their pets as precious family members and are often horrified at the possibility their loved one may be infected with internal parasites with no obvious evidence of it on the outside. How could Fluffy or Tiger possibly get such a thing?
Intestinal parasites are various types of worms that can live in the pet’s intestinal tract. They are such things as roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, as well as some protozoa parasites like giardia and coccidia. Parasites like these are often picked up by pets that inadvertently ingest parasite eggs or spores in contaminated soil, water, feces or food. In the case of tapeworms, they can be transmitted to dogs and cats by ingesting a flea.
Some cats can also get parasites from hunting and eating some rodents.
Puppies and kittens can also get intestinal roundworms from their mothers before birth, and also through the mother’s milk.
The symptoms of intestinal parasites can vary. Unlike external parasites like fleas that you can see on the pet, they can have internal parasites that pass microscopic eggs and you cannot see any signs.
Tapeworms however may cause the pet to pass small rice like segments that are often seen around the anal area. Some pets show signs such as scooting on their hind end, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, increased appetite, distended abdomen and sometimes coughing.
Since many pets can be exposed and infected with internal parasites, it is important to have a fecal examination done annually to check for microscopic eggs.
In many dogs and cats that live an outdoor lifestyle where you can’t be sure what they are putting in their mouths, it is often advisable to de-worm with an appropriate medication from your veterinarian.
Some medications will effectively treat for all types of worms, while others may simply treat roundworms.
Your veterinarian will know which types your pet will be at risk for, given its age and lifestyle.
Puppies and kittens should be dewormed several times as they are growing as they may be re-infected as parasites migrate through the body as they grow. Adult dogs and cats may also need to be de-wormed more than twice a year if they are at higher risk.
Many adult flea treatments contain heartworm prevention medication that also aids in the prevention of intestinal parasites as well.
Vets are urging people to think about long-term animal care before buying a puppy or kitten, after figures revealed millions of the country’s favourite pets could be at risk from disease and pests.
According to figures from MSD Animal Health, 55.5 per cent of dogs (4.99 million) and 77.5 per cent of cats (6.97 million) in the UK are not vaccinated against illnesses including distemper, cat flu and feline leukaemia.
Now Vets4Pets is encouraging all new puppy and kitten owners to give their pet a healthy start to life by providing suitable vaccinations and treatments.
Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: “Vaccinating your pet provides it with the best level of care possible and helps to prevent millions of puppies and kittens catching some particularly nasty diseases that can have very serious consequences.
“Puppies and kittens should also receive appropriate treatments for common ailments, including fleas and worms, for their entire life.
“To help new owners we’ve launched a Puppy and Kitten campaign that will provide support to help make the UK one of the healthiest countries in the world for pets.
“At www.vets4pets.com/pet-advice/puppy-and-kitten/ owners of puppies and kittens can find out the most appropriate ways to care for their new arrival, from the moment their tiny paws step into their new home.
“By vaccinating and treating more puppies and kittens from an early age, it should gradually improve the overall health of our adult dogs and cats.
“Worryingly, 86 per cent of pet owners would vaccinate their pet if a disease was present in their local area, which in many cases will be too late.”
Figures also show that 53 per cent of owners don’t keep up with their pet’s vaccinations because of cost, while half of pet owners think vaccinations are not necessary or haven’t even thought about inoculating their pet.
But pet health isn’t limited to just vaccinations. According to the new research, only one in ten dog owners and one in five cat owners provide their pet(s) with the recommended monthly flea treatments, leaving up to eight million dogs and more than six million cats at risk from the itchy pests.
Figures on worming were slightly better with almost a quarter of dogs (up to seven million pets) and cat owners (up to 6.1 million pets) following the recommended quarterly worming treatment programme.
Dr Stacey added: “Effective and regular flea and worming control will help make sure your dog, cat and house stay free from fleas and pets free from the various types of worms.
“A heavy worm infestation can cause sickness, diarrhoea, weight loss and weaken a pet’s immune system, while a single flea can produce over 2,000 eggs in its lifetime, which can easily result in an infestation.”