Heartworms are parasites that inhabit the hearts and lungs of infected cats and dogs. Vomiting is a common clinical sign in affected cats; unfortunately, sudden death is another sign. There is no treatment for heartworm disease in cats but there are several options for heartworm preventative. Affected dogs often have difficulty breathing, cough, tire easily from exercise, and lose their appetite. Treatment for heartworm disease in dogs is available but the best treatment is prevention. There are several options for heartworm preventative.
Roundworms are a common parasite in puppies and kittens. Some puppies and kittens are born with them. They are acquired from the mother or by ingesting contaminated soil, feces, or prey. Roundworms live in the intestines and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and/or weight loss. Routine deworming is a safe and effective way to control these infections.
Hookworms are a problem in warm, moist climates. Cats and dogs become infected by ingestion of eggs from the ground or through skin contact with the eggs. They cause diarrhea, weakness, and anemia as a result of intestinal bleeding. People can also contract hookworms via skin contact. Treatment and prevention is safe and easy.
Tapeworms are acquired by eating uncooked meat and certain prey, ingesting rabbit feces, and also by ingesting fleas. Infestation may be hard to detect until segments of the tapeworm are found in fresh stool or around the anus. Appropriate deworming medication along with flea control is paramount to clearing a tapeworm infection.
Fleas and Ticks
Both fleas and ticks are a problem in the southeastern United States. Ticks carry diseases such as Lyme's disease and fleas can carry tapeworms in addition to causing skin problems. There are several products available to treat and prevent flea and tick infestations.
Ear mites are little parasites that can cause ear infections.