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An Alexandria, VA veterinary care specialist like one from Fort Hunt Animal Hospital sees four-legged patients that suffer from a variety of health conditions. Some furry friends develop a parasite, which tends to come with other animals. These parasites can be deadly, but with care from a vet, it's possible to prevent the parasite or rid your pet of it.
Parasites classify as an animal that lives off of another animal. For instance, fleas, heartworms, tapeworms, whipworms, ticks, and mites all classify as parasites because they live and feast off of your animal. Oftentimes, they rob your pet of the nutrients it needs to be healthy or survive. In some cases, the parasite will spread to your pet's bodily organs. Some parasites are transferable to humans.
Heartworms are foot-long worms that enter into your pet's blood vessels, lungs and heart. Heartworms tend to spread from a mosquito and can lead to heart failure. Your pet may develop fleas that can occur from another animal or from outside. A flea infestation can cause discomfort to your pet, infest your home and cause tapeworms. A tick is a parasite that sucks blood from your pet and may possibly infect him or her with a disease such as Lyme disease, which causes arthritis-like symptoms in your animal.
One of the most important treatments our veterinarian provides is prevention methods. For example, our vet offers our patients heartworm, flea and tick prevention. If prevention of a parasite is possible, it's the best course of action for keeping your pet healthy.
If you suspect your pet has a parasite or you're bringing Fluffy or Fido in for a regular visit, our vet will physically examine your pet for any visible signs of a parasite. We may acquire a stool sample or perform other testing to evaluate your pet for a parasite.
Next, our veterinary specialist treats the pet for the parasite, which varies based on the parasite. A vet uses a special medical-grade treatment to get rid of fleas. If your pet should happen to develop heartworms, an approved treatment isn't available at this time. The goal is to keep your pet stabilized. Treatment for tapeworms consists of an oral medication only available by prescription from your vet. For mites, we use a special oil to kill them, which can ultimately prevent complications such as mange. Our vet will remove ticks from your pet safely, so you ensure no part of tick remains inside of your pet. We may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent your pet from developing an infection from the tick.
I have been using Ft. Hunt Animal Hospital for about 30 years and have always found the doctors and staff to be very caring. I appreciate the time spent explaining specific findings and answering questions. I never feel rushed.