Summer, with its warm humid weather, brings with it a multitude of parasites your dog or cat can contract. To determine if your pet does have a parasite problem you will notice your pet exhibiting some strange behaviours.
Parasite infestations can cause a number of more obvious behaviour changes in your pet - like scooting, vomiting, diarrhoea, distended abdomen, scratching to name a few. But some more subtle behaviour changes may be difficult to notice.
Intestinal worms can cause a change in appetite, weight loss and dull coat. Flea burdens can be an underlying cause of anxiety with behaviour changes such as excessive licking, low energy, irritable and aggressive behaviour. Heartworm causes a progression of symptoms, if the initial signs are not noticed, the heartworm infestation can worsen, increasing the risk to your pet’s life. Some initial behaviour changes you may notice that could indicate your pet has a heartworm infection is low energy, mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise and fatigue after moderate activity.
Some of these behaviour changes listed can often be typical signs of your pet aging, however, they should not go unnoticed. They can also be symptoms of many other diseases or health problems in both cats and dogs. If you have noticed a strange, unobvious change in your pet’s behaviour, it is important to have a check-up with your Veterinarian to ensure a thorough examination is performed, so the correct treatment is prescribed. Even if it is as simple as an over-the-counter flea treatment.
Veterinary Nurse Kirstie Hancock is qualified in animal behaviour with her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through the Delta Society. She has lots of great tips and ideas when it comes to misbehaving pets. Keep an eye out for her monthly tips on our Facebook page. Also check out her own business Facebook page - Positive Paws.