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The Importance of Parasite Control in Dogs

Parasites are a constant danger to your dog that can range from an annoyance to life-threatening. In this post, our Los Angeles vets will go over some of the parasites and why it is so important to prevent the infection and practice parasite control for dogs.

What is a parasite?

A parasite is an organism that feeds on your dog without offering any benefit. They steal nutrients from your dog and some can cause irreversible damage to your dog's organs.

Why should I worry if my dog doesn’t interact with other animals?

Your dog can become infected through insect bites, other animal feces, or even being passed down from mother to child before birth. Once a dog is infected, it can be difficult to remove parasites from its nest. As a result, the most effective solution is to take preventative measures. Dogs may have the following parasites:

Heartworm Disease

Mosquitoes are a common vector for this parasite. Once infected, the worm multiplies and spreads throughout the dog's body. Heartworms were named after their unfortunate habit of embedding in the heart muscle. They can be found in the infected dog's heart, lungs, and blood vessels. The problem with diagnosing them is that by the time the symptoms appear, the infection has already progressed significantly. These worms can cause severe damage to internal organs. It is unlikely that humans will be infected with this parasite.


This parasite can spread from mother to child before birth. It can also be spread through eggs, which are excreted and then swallowed. The egg can live for weeks without a host and infect humans, particularly children (which makes you reconsider every sandbox you played in as a kid). In dogs, this can result in stunted growth and a pot bellied appearance. Worms can emerge from both ends.


These dreadful creatures can infect your dog by ingesting infected mother's milk, eating the eggs, or burrowing under the skin. These creatures are tiny vampires that feed on animal blood by entering the gastrointestinal tract and tearing holes in the lining, resulting in ulcers. They are fatal to young puppies and can cause anemia in adult dogs. These heinous creatures can also burrow into human skin. Sandboxes, like roundworms, are well-known vectors of transmission (why do we let children play in them?).


The classic pest that infests your dog’s fur. They are normally an annoyance, constantly biting and causing skin irritation. They can be a disease vector for tapeworms.


These little bugs bury their heads into the flesh of their victim. They can spread Lyme disease and can attack humans

How to Prevent Parasites in Dogs

Dogs can avoid parasites by staying up to date on their vaccinations. Your veterinarian can advise you on an inoculation schedule. Make sure your dog has an annual wellness check so that your veterinarian can test for infestation.


Parasites are terrifying and can be fatal to your dog. Please continue to use preventative measures to protect your dog. Dogs and children are disease vectors in outdoor sandboxes.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Worried about your dog getting infected with parasites? Contact our Los Angeles vets to book an appointment with our compassionate team.

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