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External parasites such as fleas and ticks are irritating to pet and owner alike, can carry disease, and distract from your cat’s well-being. Likewise, a host of internal parasites such as tapeworms, coccidia and giardia, can make your friend sick. We recommend annual screening and year-round continual prevention to inhibit potential outbreaks.
Though the thought of your pet infected by parasites is, in itself, a disturbing one, it is also a significant medical issue that can have serious consequences. Parasites are irritating, diminish quality of life, and, in severe cases, cause life-threatening health problems.
Common internal parasites include heartworm, roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworms. We are all familiar with external parasites such as fleas and ticks but don’t forget the less common fungus ringworm(transmissible to people!), mites and lice. A healthy cat is free from parasites, internal and external.
Fleas are small, wingless, fast-moving insects you can see in the environment or on your cat. Some cats are particularly sensitive to flea bites and can develop substantial inflammation and discomfort. Severe infestations can cause anemia and fleas are common carriers of other diseases. Furthermore, fleas are hosts for the tapeworm parasite, and can transmit this organism if your cat ingests a flea during grooming.
Flea infestations are usually diagnosed by seeing the fleas or their byproduct, flea dirt (the small flecks resembling pepper or coffee grounds) but can also be identified by behavior (scratching, chewing and licking).
Related to the spider, ticks are ubiquitous in this area and are common parasites for cat, dog and human alike. Tick bites can range in severity, often causing only mild irritation or swelling, but also capable of infecting your friend with serious illnesses. Tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, can lead to serious health problems.
If you see a tick and you or your cat cannot remove it, give us a call and we will gladly schedule a time to help out.
There are a number of effective and easy-to-use products to treat and prevent infestations. We are happy to help you choose the correct medications to prevent both internal and external parasites based on your cat’s individual risk factors, health status and lifestyle.