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Canine Parasites

Fleas, ticks, worms and more

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11. Giardia

Giardia lamblia protozoan parasite - Copyright CDC/ Janice Carr
Copyright CDC/ Janice Carr

Giardia is a one-celled protozoan parasite that lives in the intestinal tract of many animals. When this parasite produces a diarrheal disease in animals (including humans), it is called Giardiasis. Learn about this parasite, how it is transmitted, signs of disease, and how it is diagnosed and treated in this FAQ.

12. Readers Respond: Dog and Cat Heartworm Disease and Treatment

Mosquito by edans on Flickr
by edans on Flickr

Heartworm disease is caused by a worm that lives mainly in the blood vessels of the lung and in the heart and is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm disease is found in several species. Dogs are very susceptible and cats are at risk, too. Heartworm can be difficult to treat and sometimes fatal, but fortunately Heartworm disease is easy to prevent.

Please share your experiences with your pet's Heartworm diagnosis and treatment.

13. Hookworm

Hookworms are small, thin worms that are less than an inch long. Hookworms are intestinal parasites that are common in dogs. There are three species of hookworms that affect dogs, and some can also affect humans by migrating through the skin.

14. Whipworm

Eggs of Trichuris trichiura and Trichuris vulpis - Whipworms
Credit: CDC

Whipworms are intestinal parasites that are relatively common in dogs, but only occasionally seen in cats. Whipworms are small worms, reaching a maximum size of 2-3 inches. They have a thin, whip-like front end and a thicker back end. They attach themselves to the walls of the large intestine, feeding on blood.

15. Ringworm

Ringworm on human arm (Trichophyton mentagrophytes) Credit: CDC/Dr. Lucille K. Georg
Credit: CDC/Dr. Lucille K. Georg

Technically not a parasite, Ringworm derives its name from the classic red, round "worm like" lesion seen on human skin that is infected. Ringworm is a fungus that may or may not create clinical signs in animals, but may spread from animals to humans, creating the classic lesion.

16. Heartgard (Ivermectin) - Drug Profile

Heartgard Plus courtesy of Pricegrabber

Heartgard and Heartgard Plus are used to prevent heartworms and several intestinal parasites when administered on a montly basis.

17. Revolution (Selamectin) - Drug Profile

Revolution® (brand name Stronghold® in Europe) is medication that treats and prevents a variety of parasites.

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