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6 of the biggest Parasite Health Threats Facing Your Dog

There is a wide variety of parasites that threaten your dog's health, causing everything from minor skin irritation to a life-threatening heart condition. Unfortunately, parasites are common enough that just about every owner will have to deal with them at some point during their pet's lifetime.

cropped dog

Here are six of the most common parasites and what to look for.

1. Heartwormsheartworms

Heartworms  are transmitted by mosquitoes and if allowed to grow to adulthood, become life threatening. Mosquitoes carry baby heartworms that pass into your dog after a bite. From there, they live in the blood and tissue, eventually reaching the heart and lungs to become foot-long tubular adults that can live anywhere from five to seven years. Heartworm symptoms in dogs include coughing, fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Luckily, this dreaded disease is easy to prevent .

2. Roundwormsroundworms

Roundworm  eggs cannot be seen by the naked eye, and are found in the soil, grass, or even rodents. When ingested by a dog or cat, they grow into long tubular worms in the intestines that steal nutrients and take up space. Puppies almost always are infected. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, and an extended belly.

3. Hookwormshookworms

Hookworms  get into your dog's system through soil, feces, or from eating rodents. Hookworms are dangerous because they feed off the blood vessels in your dog's intestines and can cause discomfort, blood loss, and black, tar-like stools. If severe enough, dogs may lose so much blood they become anemic and die.

4. Whipwormswhipworms

When a dog is infected with whipworms , they won't always show symptoms right away. The parasite irritates your dog's cecum (a pouch that connects the small and large intestine) and colon, causing on and off weakness, weight loss, and periods of bloody diarrhea. Unlike roundworms and hookworms, whipworms are more common in adult dogs than puppies.

5. Fleasfleas

Most dogs will become infested with fleas  at some point in their lifetime. These sneaky, small brown insects hide and lay eggs right in your dog's hair. Infested dogs often itch frequently and have hair loss on their back end. Fleas can also give dogs tapeworms .

6. Sarcoptic Mangesarcoptic mange

Sarcoptic mange  is caused by a tiny parasitic mite that burrows into your dog's skin, causing extreme discomfort and itching, hair loss, and crusty sores. This mite is easily passed to other dogs and people through close contact.


What can you do?

Use a monthly, vet-prescribed product  that is effective against numerous parasites. Topically applied products are popular because of convenience and ease of administration. Ask for a product with the unique ingredient combination of imidacloprid and moxidectin.

Related Articles

How do dogs & cats get worms?
Tick diseases in dogs
Mosquito diseases in dogs

Bayer Products

  • Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin) packaging

    Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin)

    An all-in-one monthly topical that prevents heartworm disease, kills adult fleas and treats roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.

    Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin)

    Indicated for:

    HEARTWORMS
    HEARTWORMS
    FLEAS
    FLEAS
    ROUNDWORMS
    ROUNDWORMS
    HOOKWORMS
    HOOKWORMS
    WHIPWORMS
    WHIPWORMS
    SARCOPTIC MANGE
    SARCOPTIC MANGE
    MICROFILARIAE
    MICROFILARIAE

    CAUTION: Federal (U.S.A.) law restricts Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin) to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin)
CAUTION: Federal (U.S.A.) law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. WARNING: DO NOT ADMINISTER THIS PRODUCT ORALLY. For the first 30 minutes after application ensure that dogs cannot lick the product from application sites on themselves or other treated animals. Children should not come in contact with the application sites for two (2) hours after application. (See Contraindications, Warnings, Human Warnings, and Adverse Reactions, for more information.) CONTRAINDICATIONS: Do not use this product on cats.