If you have a senior dog at home, you already understand that you need to take extra care of its health. Older dogs need special considerations about their food, exercise, medicines, and many other things. Therefore it is natural that they need special care with parasites prevention as well. Most people feel that because senior dogs don’t go outside the house a lot, they require less amount of parasite prevention measures. But the truth is far from it. Older dogs are more susceptible to parasites, and they get affected more too. That is why pet parents need to take extra care of their dogs in their senior years.
Why Is Parasite Prevention Important for Senior Pets?
Parasites are dangerous for pets of all ages. They steal the nutrients from pets. They can cause further diseases that create long-lasting damages to your pet. As a dog gets older, its immunity starts to deteriorate. That makes it difficult for its body to fight diseases and infections. The damages caused by parasites also take longer to repair in a senior dog’s body, and sometimes those damages are irreparable. Therefore the overall effect of a parasitic infestation on a dog’s health is amplified.
Older dogs also tend to hide their illness. It is a part of their instinct because in the wild they would not show their vulnerability to the herd and other predators. That means by the time you realize that your dog is fighting a parasitic infestation, there might be considerable damage to its health. The harm resulting from the infection can reduce quite a few years from your dog’s lifespan.
Types of Parasites
Two types of parasites can affect your senior dog. Some infest on the external surfaces of your dog, whereas others infect the internal organs.
External parasites can get detected faster because they can be seen. Fleas and ticks are the two major parasites that affect dogs externally. They usually live in a dog’s skin and bite into it to feed off your dog’s blood. They might not be fatal by themselves, but they can carry a host of diseases such as bacteria and worms. These diseases can have life-threatening consequences on your senior dog. Some of these diseases are:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Fleas and ticks are more common in certain areas than others. They prefer to live in warm and moist climates. Depending on where you live, you will have to inspect your dog’s skin at regular intervals. Fleas and ticks prefer darker places, so look for them on your dog’s belly and the inner thighs. Fleas can be prevented easily by feeding them Capstar flea pet medication for dogs. These pills start to work immediately, and results can be seen within 30 minutes of administering the medicine. More than 90% of adult fleas will get killed within 4-5 hours of feeding the tablet.
Internal parasites are tough to get detected inside a dog’s body. Most worms infect the intestines of your dog, and signs can be found in the stool. But heart-worms are the most dangerous because they infest the heart and lungs of a dog, and it is difficult to detect signs without regular check-ups. By the time you can detect heart-worms on a dog, they could have caused severe irreparable damages inside the body. It is easier to get rid of intestinal worms. With proper medications, adult worms can be eliminated and flushed out of the body. But adult heart-worms are much harder to kill. The treatment is also lengthy and taxing for the dog. Old age makes it more difficult because heart-worm infection can put severe stress on a dog’s cardiovascular system. That is why the prevention of heart-worms is preferable.
How to Protect Your Senior Dogs From Parasites?
Prevention of parasites is not a very difficult task for adult dogs. There are many preventative medications that a veterinary doctor can recommend. It is also essential to have regular inspections and tests done to ensure that there is no infection. You can use products that are available in the market to prevent external parasites. Cleaning your house regularly, and maintaining hygiene should be the first and foremost step. A senior dog’s diet must be observed, and you should not feed any raw meat.
Early detection of parasites is an essential part of preventive measures. Keeping your dog away from the numerous sources of infection can be difficult. Therefore you should get a regular check-up plan from a veterinary doctor or clinic. Always keep in mind that when it comes to parasites, prevention is better than cure.0