Parasites come in many different forms. Some of them are specific to certain species, and others are zoonotic (can be transmitted to people). It is very simple and inexpensive to prevent, diagnose and treat parasitic infections, keeping both pets and people free of worms and disease. We are here to help teach and advise what you can do to keep the entire family healthy and safe.
Intestinal (inside the body) worms are very common in puppies, and kittens, but they also are present in adult dogs and cats. In order to diagnose them it is important that we check the stool of all pets, by way of a microscopic examination. We routinely check the stool and deworm all puppies and kittens. Adults should have a stool check done done at least once a year, and be dewormed based on their lifestyle.
One of the most common intestinal parasites in cats and dogs are roundworms. There are also many others, and not all deworming medications work for all parasites. This is why it is important to run stool checks. Pets sometimes are asymptomatic and do not show signs that they are carrying a parasite. This does not mean they can not pass them to each other, or people. Individual people and pets have different immune systems. If our system is generally less strong, or we are sick at the time for another reason, we are more susceptible to picking up a parasite. Sometimes we will show clinical signs of the parasite, but at other times it can take months or years to realize we have a problem. Children and the elderly are often more susceptible to contracting a parasitic infection and this can be very serious.
As intestinal parasites are so inexpensive and easy to diagnose and treat, we encourage all pet owners to please take this seriously and look after both your pets and your family. Please carefully discuss the best parasite prevention program for your pet and home, with our nurses and veterinarians. We are here to help.
Topical parasites are different from the ones above. These are parasites that live on the skin, or in the ears. They not only cause problems themselves by creating skin problems, but they can also be vectors, or transmit systemic diseases to pets and people.
In Qatar we have a lot of ticks that carry Ehrlichiosis. This is a serious disease in dogs, and takes on many forms. The most serious can impact the blood cells and be life threatening. Dogs that are positive are not allowed to travel to Australia and New Zealand. Even with treatment, most of these dogs will never be able to travel home. This is just one reason why prevention is so important.
Fleas are less common, but every day we see more pets here with flea infestations. They can cause disease of the skin, but they are also responsible for some tape worms, anemia in tiny pets and other diseases that can impact all of us.
Heartworm disease is not as common here as it is in other parts of the world. This does not mean it is not here in Qatar. There have been isolated cases of the disease here in pets who have not left the country. It is a serious life threatening diseases to dogs (and cats) in other parts of the world. Transmitted by a certain species of mosquito, it can have deadly consequences. It is easily prevented, but once your pet has the disease it is both costly and risky to cure.
Our veterinary team at the Canadian Veterinary Hospital in Doha are here to discuss with you the types of internal intestinal parasites, and external parasites your pet may be vulnerable to, and advise you as to the best course of prevention or cure. Most importantly we will advise you about how to keep your family safe!