Many different types of parasites can silently enter your dogs’ and cats’ bodies and potentially cause lifelong complications to occur. Heartworms, in particular, invade the passageways through your pets’ lungs, heart and blood vessels, causing extensive damage along the way. Even with treatment, this parasite, and many others, can leave a trail of destruction in their wake.
Here at Katy Area Veterinary Medical Group, we focus on prevention, as well as treatment, to protect the health of cats and dogs under our care. You can help your pets remain healthy by learning more about the symptoms internal parasites cause and what to expect during the diagnosis and treatment process.
Heartworms tend to cause very few symptoms in the beginning, but as heart and lung damage occurs, noticeable signs will eventually develop. The signs to watch for in dogs include coughing, wheezing, fatigue, swelling in the belly, weight loss and lack of appetite. Cats may have periodic vomiting in addition to the above symptoms.
Other internal parasites, such as roundworm and tapeworm, cause similar symptoms as heartworm does, along with vomiting and diarrhea. Dehydration can set in fast for dogs and cats with these symptoms, so immediate vet care may be warranted.
Vets can use blood tests and fecal samples to check for signs of internal parasites in your dogs and cats. You can collect the sample yourself or have your pets stay in the clinic for collection and observation if needed. Although these tests detect the presence of parasites, they do not indicate the severity of the infection. Your vet will perform a thorough physical examination and check vital signs to assess your pets’ overall condition.
The diagnostic tests and physical examination allow vets to find the best treatment plan for heartworms and other internal parasites. The treatment approach will depend on your pets’ symptoms and the overall progression of the infection. Your vet will work hard to minimize complications by taking a conservative approach to parasite treatments.
Timely veterinarian check-ups allow you to stay on top of parasite prevention for all your pets. By taking this proactive approach, you can limit your pets’ risk of becoming a host to heartworms and other parasites.
We welcome you to contact us today at 281-398-1551 to schedule an appointment and discuss your pets’ healthcare needs.
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