Parasites thrive during warm months

The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association says parasite activity can increase this time of year, so it's important to know the symptoms of infection in pets. 

Parasites are worms that can live in your pet’s body, potentially affecting its ability to absorb nutrients, damaging the intestinal tract, or causing serious illness.  

"Prevention and treatment through parasite control, also known as deworming, is important in safeguarding not only pets, but all members of family, as some parasites can make humans sick, too," says Dr. Jean Hall, professor at OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and OVMA President.  

Symptoms can include appetite changes, coughing, diarrhea, weight loss, and a rough or dry coat. Symptoms don’t always show, though, so regular veterinary exams and annual fecal checks for parasites are recommended.  

Common parasites affecting pets include tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, heartworms and roundworms. Preventive steps include promptly picking up/disposing of pet waste, keeping pets away from other pets’ waste, and washing hands after playing with a pet or handling its waste. Hall says, "Regular veterinary exams are key to keeping your pet and your family safe from parasites." 

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