It is our responsibility as pet owners to keep our dogs and cats protected from parasites. Taking a proactive approach towards prevention will not only benefit your pet’s health, but it can also save the pet owner a lot of money in the long run. Once the parasite(s) infect your pet, treatment can be costly and your pet’s health compromised.


Some of the more common types of external parasites include:

  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Mites
  • Ear mites
  • Ringworm 

FLEAS can cause a lot of discomfort to your pet. Itching can possibly result in your pet swallowing a flea that may be infected with tapeworm eggs. 

TICKS are especially plentiful in wooded areas. As they feed on your pet’s blood, they can transmit dangerous diseases. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme’s disease are most common. If you notice a tick on your pet, carefully remove with tweezers.

For more information about the management and prevention of fleas and ticks, check out this article from the ASPCA!

MITES are not that uncommon. In fact, most pets have them. However, some animals with a compromised immune system, may have problems with infestation that can lead to mange. A common symptom is hair loss. 

Immediate treatment for EAR MITES is crucial. The mites bury themselves deep inside the pet’s ear canal. If you notice a brown discharge coming from your pet’s ear, you should have them checked for ear mites. 

Quite often, RINGWORM is associated with a worm. In fact, it is NOT a worm, at all. Ringworm is a fungal infection that is highly contagious to other pets, and even humans. Hair loss can occur in the shape of a ring. 


The most common types of internal parasites include:

  • Heartworm
  • Roundworm
  • Hookworm
  • Tapeworm
  • Whipworm

HEARTWORM prevention is so very important. It is like no other internal parasite. Dogs with heartworm infections are quite serious, and can be fatal. On the other hand, cats are at a lower risk of heartworm infection, as they are not inherent hosts. Infected mosquitoes spread heartworm to their hosts through a bite. This can lead to fatigue and cough in your pet. If left untreated, your pet may suffer permanent damage to their liver, heart and lungs.

ROUNDWORM, HOOKWORM, TAPEWORM AND WHIPWORM are all types of worms that your pet likely picked up by ingesting something on the larvae infected ground. Treatment is necessary as intestinal bleeding can occur. Puppies and kittens need immediate treatment as they can develop anemia and/or bloody stools. 


As mentioned earlier, internal and external parasites that can affect your pet’s health can be managed through prevention. Prevention is always the preferred option, over treatment. Feel free to contact us at Independence Vet Clinic to discuss a prevention plan that is best suited for you and your pet(s). 

If your pet(s) does manage to contract internal and/or external parasites, treatment should be immediate, as treatment can benefit your pet’s long-term prognosis. 

Want more tips on how to maintain your pet’s health during the hottest months of the year? Be sure to check out our latest blogs: Heatstroke in Pets and How to Safely Enjoy the Warm Weather with Your Pets!

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