1: Heartworms: Pets are infected with heartworm larvae when bitten by a mosquito. Heartworms are transmitted by more than 70 species of mosquitoes. In dogs the larvae grow and mature before they make their way to the heart where they will mate and produce offspring. These offspring can be detected in the blood 6-7 months after infection. Symptoms can include but are not limited to coughing, exercise intolerance, and abnormal lung sounds. In later stages of the disease heart enlargement, heart failure, and even death can occur.
2: Whipworms: Infection usually occurs due to ingesting eggs during grooming by the pet, after having passed through an infected outside environment. Amazingly, whipworm eggs can live in an environment anywhere from a few months to years! Once hatched the larvae ultimately makes it way to the large intestine. Symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, anemia, dehydration, and weight-loss; however some dogs may be asymptomatic.
3: Hookworms: This zoonotic parasite inhabits the small intestine in dogs. Infections can be acquired through larvae found in the soil, or in the case of young puppies, can be passed by the mother through her milk. Severe infections can result in anemia and other notable symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, weight-loss, and in rare cases even death.
4: Roundworms: Infection can occur from mother to puppies during pregnancy or through nursing. Puppies and adult dogs can also become infected by ingesting contaminated soil. 15% of commercial potting soil contains roundworm eggs! Eggs can remain infective for months to years. Symptoms of infection include vomiting, diarrhea, and a pot-bellied appearance. Roundworms are zoonotic and can be passed to humans through contaminated feces and soil.
5: Fleas: Adult fleas when found on pets account for only 5% of the population. The other 95% is comprised of eggs, larvae, and pupae in the home environment. A female flea can lay 50 eggs every day — as many as 2,000 eggs in her 2- to 3-month lifetime. Eggs hatch into maggot-like larvae in 2 to 4 days. Secondary complications from flea infestations include: anemia, flea allergic dermatitis, and tapeworm infections. Flea carrying pets can deposit eggs throughout their environment (in the yard, on bedding or furniture, etc.) All pets are susceptible to flea infestations, even those deemed as “indoor only.” Preventatives that keep immature stages from developing into fleas help to break the cycle when an infestation occurs.
Sentinel is a monthly preventative that can protect your dog from the complication of ALL FIVE of these parasites. Protection for your dog is also protections for your family as some of these parasites are zoonotic, meaning they can infect adults and children that interact with pets. Talk to our veterinarians today about this great product and ensure your dog enjoys living parasite free, year-round!