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Puppy Parasites

All About Common Puppy Parasites


Puppy parasites include worms, mange, fleas and ticks and refer to organisms that live off of another--in this case your puppy--at the expense of that puppy. Parasites that live on the skin, beneath the skin, inside the body in your puppy's intestines, or even in the bloodstream. They may be bugs you see, fungus that's microscopic or single-cell organisms like protozoan. These parasites can cause aggravating symptoms at best and deathly illness at worst. Learn about how to recognize, prevent and treat puppy parasites in these articles.

1. Puppy Fleas

Image © Amy Shojai
Fleas are the most common type of parasite affecting puppies. These tiny blood suckers can cause severe itching as a result from the flea's saliva. Fleas can cause skin damage from scratching, severe allergic reactions and hair loss, as well as hot spots. Fleas also can transmit infectious agents with their bite. Read this article about puppy fleas to learn more about the symptoms of flea infestation and how to prevent puppy fleas.

2. Puppies and Ticks

Ticks have "ticked off" pet lovers and puppies for years. There are many varieties and while one or two may not cause your puppy major problems, the blood sucker's bite often leads to hot spots. Ticks also can transmit infectious agents with their bite, including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and tick fever. Read this article about puppies and ticks to learn more about how to recognize a problem and how to deal with puppy ticks.

3. Sarcoptic Mange and Scabies

A very contagious and common skin disorder of puppies is caused by a mite, and called canine scabies--also known as sarcoptic mange. This disease causes intense itching and can permanently damage the puppy's skin. Learn about this mange mite and how to deal with it in this article about sarcooptic mange and canine scabies.

4. Demodectic Mange

Caused by a cigar-shaped skin mite, a few of these parasites are considered normal if found on your puppy. Young dogs may have a flare up of "red mange" on their face and legs, too, and usually that can resolve with treatment and never be a problem again. But when the puppy's immune system can't keep them under control, severe disease can cause terrible skin sores, hair loss or even kill your puppy. Learn more about this type of parasite and what you can do in this article about demodectic mange.

5. Ringworm

Ringworm is a unique parasite--a fungus--that affects the puppy's skin and coat. But it can masquerade and mimic many other skin and coat conditions and requires special techniques to diagnose. Learn what ringworm looks like, how it's treated and what you can do about ringworm in puppies.

6. What Are Ear Mites

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Ear mites are creepy crawlies that live inside your puppy's ear canal, biting and itching and driving him nuts. The inflammation caused by ear mites can lead to otitis and ear infections. While the veterinarian must diagnose this parasite, you can often treat and eliminated ear mites at home. Learn what signs to watch for and how to treat puppy ear mites in this article.

7. Roundworms

Image © Sharon Montrose/Getty Images
Almost all puppies are born with roundworms or contract them when they nurse from their mother. This article explains the dangers of roundworms, the signs that you'll see, and how to treat them and also prevent them in your puppy. Read more about puppy roundworms here.

8. Hookworms

Image © Sharon Montrose/Getty Images
You won't see these tiny works, but the hookworm parasite can be deadly for young puppies. Even though adult dogs can develop immunity, they also can be at risk for this blood-sucking worm. Learn all you need to know about the symptoms, treatment and prevention of puppy hookworms in this article.

9. Tapeworms

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Does your puppy have fleas? Then chances are she also will develop tapeworms. You'll see them squiggling along like inch worms on the fur near her bottom under her tail, or in her bedding. Yes, these are nasty parasites but can be easily prevented. Learn all about prevention, symptoms, and treatment in this article about tapeworms.

10. Whipworms

Whipworms are a less common but potentially dangerous intestinal parasite of puppies. They are called "whip worms" because they look like tiny whips. You won't see these in the puppy's stool, though, and the eggs are microscopic and must be identified by the veterinarian to diagnose. Whipworms can be difficult to get rid of, too, because they can survive in the environment and re-infect your baby dog time and again, often in conjunction with hookworms. Learn more about how whipworms are contracted, treated, and prevented in this article about whipworms.
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