For the long, happy life of your pet: Parasite testing and control in Oakleaf Plantation, FL

Preventive care is the foundation of Orange Park Animal Hospital at Oakleaf. Parasite testing and control play an essential role in preventing the conditions that can affect your pet’s quality of life and cause potentially permanent damage to vital organs. Led by Dr. James Gillen, our hospital in Oakleaf Plantation, FL, has extensive experience and onsite tools to manage threats to the health of dogs and cats with parasites.

Internal parasites 

Some of the most common creepy-crawly threats to our furry friends include all sorts of worms – tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and heartworms – as well as coccidia and giardia. 

  • Thin and flat (like tape), tapeworms can infect your pet’s intestines after they eat infected fleas or lice. They sap your pup or kitty of vital nutrients. 
  • Incredibly common, roundworms are spread when your pet consumes contaminated waste. They, too, steal nutrients in your pet’s food and affect their digestion. 
  • Less common in cats, hookworms can penetrate your pet’s skin or mouth. Since they suck blood from an infected animal’s intestinal lining, untreated infections can be dangerous and result in life-threatening blood loss. 
  • Whiplike-shaped, whipworms are passed through animal droppings and also infect the intestines. Severe infections can cause weight loss, blood loss, and diarrhea. 
  • Since mosquitoes are the disease vector for heartworm, this dangerous condition is of particular concern for us with pets in Florida. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, they pick up baby worms that are then transmitted to another dog or cat through the same biting action. Once the babies have reached adulthood, they can live inside dogs and cats for years, where they wreak havoc on the blood vessels, heart, and lungs.
  • Coccidia most often affects young pets with weaker immune systems, and it can be passed quickly from one pet to the next. As with other parasites, eating infected soil or licking contaminated fur can lead to an infection that results in intestinal damage. 
  • Giardia also interferes with nutrient absorption, produces diarrhea, and is highly contagious. 

External parasites 

Nasties such as fleas, ticks, and mites cause very uncomfortable skin problems and can transmit diseases to both pets and people. We can help you to protect your pet from these and other complications: 

  • Severe irritation and scratching
  • Anemia (due to blood loss)
  • Lyme disease 
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Bleeding sores 
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Ear discharge 
  • Secondary bacterial or yeast infections 
  • Hair loss 
  • Skin thickening 

Parasitic infections are highly preventable. It is a must for your pet’s health to get on a schedule of vaccinations, routine deworming, heartworm prevention, and other preventive products to protect from internal and external parasites. We can detect the presence of parasites with the likes of fecal and blood testing. 

After your pet’s health is stabilized (as needed), we will promptly move forward with respective treatments. The goal is to treat your pet with the fewest side effects while preventing further damage to the affected pup (or cat), other animals they may come in contact with, and even human family members. Do not delay to prevent today. Contact us to schedule your pet’s visit.