Unfortunately, your new canine or feline friend could arrive as a package deal with a few “friends” of their own!
Internal and external parasites in puppies and kittens are reasonably common. They are usually due to infection passed from the mother.
Here’s what to monitor your new family member for.
The four most common intestinal worms in dogs and cats are roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm.
- Roundworms may cause diarrhoea, a pot-bellied appearance, or a failure to gain a healthy weight. They may occasionally be vomited up or defecated out from heavily infected pets.
- Hookworms feed by latching onto the intestinal walls of infected animals and drinking their blood. As a result, they can cause blood loss anaemia, leading to symptoms such as weakness and pale gums.
- Whipworms live in the large intestine, sucking blood and causing inflammation, sometimes leading to recurrent gooey or bloody diarrhoea and occasionally generalised weakness.
- Tapeworms absorb nutrients from the small intestine, generally causing little harm unless in large numbers. The egg sacs they release (which look like wriggling rice grains!) may irritate the pet’s bottom.
Adult fleas live on the skin, sucking the pet’s blood and laying eggs shed around the pet’s environment.
Young puppies or kittens with large fleas may develop blood loss anaemia. Fleas can also cause significant skin irritation, leading to bacterial skin infections in some pets.
Ear mites live within the ear canal of puppies and kittens, causing localised inflammation.
Pets with mite infections develop irritated ears (which may cause them to shake their heads or paw at their ears), and their ears canals may look red and inflamed with dark brown discharge.
Young animals can be especially vulnerable, so if you notice any symptoms of unwellness in your puppy or kitten, have them checked promptly by our experienced team. We’ll banish any pesky parasites pronto!