Posts Tagged ‘parasites’

When the air warms up, dogs and their people head to the dog park for exercise and socializing. Let’s keep it fun for everyone!

Here are seven steps you can take to help your pet have a safe, happy season at the dog park:

  1. Keep your dog current on its vaccinations. Bacterial and viral diseases can be spread through direct contact with other dogs; through contact with contaminated objects; and through contact with other dogs’ feces.
  2. Protect your pet against fleas, ticks, and heartworms with easy-to-give monthly preventatives. Just because another dog brings fleas to the park, that doesn’t mean your dog has to bring them home!
  3. Get your pet’s stool tested for intestinal parasites several extra times a year. Monthly preventatives protect against many kinds of intestinal parasites, but no single product provides complete protection against everything out there.
  4. Know how to recognize signs of aggression — whether in your dog or another — and be sure to remove your pet before things get dangerous. Check out these body language cues that warn of impending trouble: https://littlecreekvet.com/2014/05/20/dog-bite-prevention-2014/
  5. Train your pet to respond to your commands, such as Come, Sit, Stay, and Leave It. Knowing these basic commands can help your pet get out of a danger zone when you call him.
  6. Check the posted dog park rules. Some parks segregate dogs by size or have other rules. These rules are for the safety of all dogs using the park — including your own.
  7. If your dog is fearful and does not wish to socialize, don’t force it. She may be happiest just hanging out with you — and that’s perfectly fine!

BONUS — Learn more about dog park safety on Little Creek Veterinary Clinic’s blog: https://littlecreekvet.com/2016/06/28/dog-park-mishaps/

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A quick review of our blog traffic stats revealed what we at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic believe is our most popular blog post of all time. Since folks love it so much, we won’t make you search for it — instead, we’ll present it once again.

Sesame seed or Tapeworm segment?

Since we’re always telling people that dried-up Tapeworm segments (proglottids) look like sesame seeds, we thought we would show the actual comparison.

Photo A:

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments?

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments? Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

 

Photo B:

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments?

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments? Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

 

Photo C:

Sesame seeds on the left; Tapeworm segments (proglottids) on the right. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Sesame seeds on the left; Tapeworm segments (proglottids) on the right.
Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

So if you see a collection of these little doodads around where your dog or cat has been sitting, call the vet, because your pet has Tapeworms.

No, Fluffy did not get into the hamburger buns. Those are Tapeworm segments.

No, Fluffy did not get into the hamburger buns. Those are Tapeworm segments.

 

This post originally appeared on October 28, 2014.

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*In our opinion.

Do you like to win awards, be recognized for your achievements, and get jealous glances from your friends and family? Do you wish your pet could experience the grandiosity of winning a MAJOR AWARD? Then Little Creek Veterinary Clinic has just the thing for you!

Behold: The Clean As A Whistle Award, granted to dogs and cats whose stool samples are determined by microscopic examination to be free of parasites, parasite eggs, blood, and foreign objects.

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends that all dogs and cats living in the Hampton Roads area have their stool examined at least twice a year.

Here is a list of parasites or their eggs that we may find on microscopic examination of the stool, which  cannot be seen with the naked eye: Coccidiae, whipworms, hookworms, mange mites. And although you may see adult Tapeworm segments and Roundworms in your pet’s stool, it is possible for those same worms to reside in your pet’s gut, undetected, while shedding microscopic eggs that you can’t see.

Even indoor pets can be exposed to parasites. Fleas carry Tapeworms, and bugs such as flies and cockroaches can carry Roundworms. If your pet likes to catch bugs, she may be catching a whole lot more!

Getting your pet’s stool sample examined is easy. You collect the sample (we can provide a container for this purpose), bring it to us, and we’ll do the rest. [Testing fee applies.]

And if your pet’s poo is happily free of any parasites or other items of concern, we’ll e-mail this certificate that you can print out and post in a place of honor in your home:

 

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Heartworm Disease has been found in pets in all 50 states, including Virginia.

Dogs and cats are vulnerable to Heartworm Disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. As anyone who is familiar with southern Virginia knows, we have a mosquito problem. As a result, we also have a heartworm problem.

Heartworms not only live in the pet’s heart, they also migrate to the lungs. And although a dog can harbor over a hundred worms in its body, it takes only a single adult worm to cause a fatal inflammatory reaction in a cat.

Fast Facts:

Adult Heartworms can grow up to 12 inches long

Adult Heartworms can live 5-7 years

A dog can have as many as 250 worms in its body

You can protect your pet with a simple-to-use monthly preventative, such as HeartGard Plus or Revolution.

Contact Us so we can help you get your pet protected from Heartworm Disease.
p12-tip6

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FALSE.

Even cats that stay indoors their entire lives are at risk for parasitic infections. Why?

Because mosquitos, which transmit heartworm disease, often sneak into our homes.

Because fleas, which transmit tapeworms, often reside in our homes.

Because flies, which transmit roundworms, often buzz around inside our homes.

And if your cat is anything like mine, it loves to chase, catch, and eat bugs!

These are just some of the reasons your cat’s feces should be checked one to two times a year for parasites.

It’s also why we recommend Revolution for indoor cats. Revolution protects your cat against fleas, heartworms, roundworms, and ear mites.

Click on the graphic below to learn more about cats and parasites — then talk to us about protecting your indoor cat from heartworms, tapeworms, and roundworms.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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Since I’m always telling people that dried-up Tapeworm segments (proglottids) look like sesame seeds, I thought I would show the actual comparison.

Photo A:

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments?

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments? Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

 

Photo B:

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments?

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments? Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

 

Photo C:

Sesame seeds on the left; Tapeworm segments (proglottids) on the right. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Sesame seeds on the left; Tapeworm segments (proglottids) on the right.
Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

So if you see a collection of these little doodads around where your dog or cat has been sitting, call the vet, because your pet has Tapeworms.

No, Fluffy did not get into the hamburger buns. Those are Tapeworm segments.

No, Fluffy did not get into the hamburger buns. Those are Tapeworm segments.

 

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I’ve been “inspired” by the number of flea cases coming in lately to share new photos of flea dirt.

I found a willing feline participant, gave it a good combing, and came up with the photos you see here.

To review: so-called “flea dirt” is flea feces, which is the blood that used to be inside your cat or dog. [Yuck.] Flea dirt is also food for flea larvae [double yuck], which is why it’s a good idea to clean up flea dirt when you see it. No need to feed the next generation of fleas!

Dry flea dirt and fur. Click to enlarge.

Dry flea dirt and fur.
Click to enlarge.

 

Flea dirt saturated with liquid. Click to enlarge.

Flea dirt saturated with liquid.
Click to enlarge.

 

Flea dirt reconstituting into blood. Click to enlarge.

Flea dirt reconstituting into blood.
Click to enlarge.

That last photo demonstrates what you might see when you bathe a pet that has fleas. The water may turn a pink or rust color as the flea dirt liquefies. 

Need help keeping fleas off your pet this autumn? Try Advantage, NexGard, Revolution for cats, or the Seresto collar.

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[*Not Suitable for Dinner.]

Eating while surfing the ‘net? You may want to cover your eyes for this next part.

We recovered the Tapeworm, shown below, from a patient and, for our amusement, measured the nasty parasite.

Now, most of us see individual Tapeworm proglottids — the short, rice-like segments that exit a pet’s rear-end one at a time. Each of these segments is filled with eggs, which may be consumed by flea larvae once the proglottid is out in the open. The flea matures, hops onto a pet, is then swallowed by a dog or cat during self-grooming, and the whole process begins again.

In this case, it appears that the entire worm has exited the body. (Lord knows why, since all the nutrition it needs is still inside the cat!)

So now, for your edutainment, we present this 10-centimeter Tapeworm, whom we have positively identified through fingerprint analysis** as being the notorious Lonnie Canklespot Gorman, the Third.

Yowza!!!  Photo by Jennifer Miele

Yowza!!!
Click to enlarge. Photo by Jennifer Miele

**Tapeworms do not actually have fingerprints.

If you’ve seen fleas on your pet, he (or she) could also have Tapeworms. While you may not see anything this big, you may see rice-sized or sesame seed-sized segments on your pet’s rear end, poop, or wherever he’s been sitting. If you suspect your pet has Tapeworms, ask your vet for prescription-strength worming medication today.

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Nexgard 4

Merial (the maker of HeartGard Plus and Frontline) has introduced
a brand-new weapon in the war on fleas: NexGard.

NexGard uses a unique ingredient (afoxolaner), which fleas and ticks have not had a chance to “get used to.” Many researchers and pet owners are beginning to suspect that fleas are becoming resistant to chemicals which have long been on the marketplace.

To answer this concern, Merial has developed NexGard.

NexGard is a safe, once-a-month chewable treatment that kills adult fleas and the American dog tick for 30 days. It is approved for use in dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age and older, weighing at least 4 lbs. (NexGard is not for use in cats.)

NexGard is the first and only chew that kills both fleas and ticks.

NexGard is beef-flavored, but it won’t trigger your pet’s beef allergies. And unlike Comfortis, it does not need to be given with a meal.

NexGard is a prescription drug, sold by your veterinarian.

We are currently making NexGard available for dogs weighing 60-121 lbs. If you would like to be one of the first to try NexGard for your pet, please Contact our office.

BONUS for HEARTGARD PLUS users: Receive a $25 rebate when you purchase 6 doses of HeartGard + 6 doses of NexGard. Rebate forms are available at our office.

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     Here’s a possibility that’ll leave you itchy the rest of the day: Maybe it’s bedbugs.

     The U.S. is being hit with a resurgence of these nasty vermin since the most effective pesticides have been outlawed.  And now comes word that our pets may be bothered by the little blood-suckers, as well.  That makes sense; bedbugs live on blood and they aren’t terribly picky about the source. Read on:

My dog scratches all the time and has bug bites, but I don’t see fleas.

     If your pet’s been keeping you awake nights with the sounds of constant scratching and chewing, and you’re plagued with itchy welts, too, bedbugs could be the culprits.

How do I find the little suckers?

     Get a flashlight, pull back the sheets and mattress covers and look for specks of blood, droppings, shed skins and eggshells and the little brown bugs themselves.  Inspect behind the headboard and all around the mattress and boxspring, especially at the seams.  Check nearby furniture, including chairs, nightstands, and bureaus.  The bugs like to insert themselves into the thinnest cracks and crevices, so examine all spots, however small.  Remember to inspect the undersides of furniture, as well.

EEEEK!  I found some!  Now what?

     If you discover an infestation, call a professional licensed exterminator for help.  Some companies use insecticides to combat the bugs, while others use extreme heat-producing appliances.

Where do bedbugs come from?

     Well, kids, when a mommy bedbug and a daddy bedbug love each other very much – oh wait, that’s not what you meant, is it?  We’ll save that story for another time.  Bedbugs can be transported in on used furniture, clothing, and suitcases.  I’ve made it a habit to travel with a Maglite flashlight and carefully check the bed and other furniture in hotel rooms.  For Craigslist fanatics, beware the Curb Alert – free furniture is not a bargain if it comes with bugs.

If I have bedbugs, does that mean my house is dirty?

     Bedbugs don’t distinguish between dirty homes and clean ones.  They’re just looking for a food source and that is you.  And sometimes your pet.  Cleanliness has nothing to do with it.

Are bedbug bites dangerous?

     They’re more annoying than anything.  The bites may become infected due to excessive scratching.  Otherwise, bedbugs are not known to transmit disease.  In severe infestations, though, a patient may develop anemia. 

Where can I go to see bedbug photos that will freak me out and make me feel itchy all night?

     Glad you asked!  The College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky has an informative PDF on bedbugs here.

How many beds could a bedbug bug if a bedbug could bug beds?

     Tragically, that question remains unanswered to this day.

*************************************************************************

Some information for this article was gleaned from an interview betweenClinician’s Brief and Dr. Susan Little.

This article was originally posted on November 18, 2010.

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