What are some of the parasites found in dogs, and how are they treated?
The most commonly found parasites in dogs and cats are whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. Tapeworms specifically are transmitted through fleas, so that's why it's also very important to do your flea medications regularly. Also, the other two that we see a lot of are Giardia and Coccidia. The important thing about those is that they are also zoonotic diseases, so we must be careful with them.
Dr. Odet Kaspari-Chiriboga
Hillcrest Pet Hospital
How do intestinal parasites impact the health and wellbeing of my dog?
It affects them in several ways. It can cause diarrhea, it can make them sick, they may not eat, or they may even vomit. It prevents them from thriving.
What are some signs and symptoms for me to know if my dog has intestinal parasites?
With the tapeworms, you actually see them the worms. They are the only ones that you can see. They look like little rice grains, but you'll mostly find symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, not eating, and not doing well.
What would you recommend in order to diagnose properly if there were parasites in my dog?
It's very important that we do fecal flotations and check the feces for parasites regularly. You just drop off a stool sample with us, and we'll send it to the lab to test for those parasites.
How often would you recommend we do a fecal flotation?
In puppies more often than adult dogs. With adult dogs, at least once a year, but with puppies, more often, especially with your first and second visits. We like to double-check them and ensure we catch them early.
What are some differences between natural remedies and over-the-counter dewormers compared to prescription medications?
Those parasites are too resilient to treat with home remedies. It may not work, but we have some really good dewormers on the market right now that can treat those, especially if you start using things like Sentinel, which is really good for heartworm prevention. The good medication also treats intestinal parasites, so they are constantly on monthly preventatives, and you don't run the chance of them getting an infection.
How do I choose the right dewormer for my dog?
There are a lot of different products on the market, but in addition to our flea medication, which is Bravecto, we use Sentinel. You come once a year, and we do the heartworm test. If it comes up negative, we send you home with a year's supply of Sentinel, which does heartworm prevention. With that, all four main worms that dogs get are treated.
If I treat one dog in my house, do I need to treat the other dog as well?
Yes, definitely. Every single pet in the household has to be treated for it to be an effective preventative.
If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (818) 249-2092, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.