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  • Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic

    896 N. Burlington Boulevard, Burlington, WA 98233 US


  • The Chuckanut Valley Feline Center

    1214 Dupont Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 US


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Importance of Parasite Control in Dogs

In this post, our Burlington and Bellingham vets will discuss parasites that constantly threaten your dog, ranging from an annoyance to a life-threatening situation. We'll emphasize the crucial importance of preventing infection and practicing parasite control for dogs.

What is a Parasite

A parasite is an organism that feeds on your dog without providing any benefit. It steals nutrients from your dog and can cause irreversible damage to your dog's organs.

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

Insect bites, other animal feces, and even being passed down from mother to child before they are born are all ways for your dog to become infected. Once a dog is infected, getting some parasites out of its nest can be difficult. As a result, the best solution is to take preventative measures. Some parasites that dogs may have include:

Heartworm Disease

Mosquitoes commonly transmit this parasite. Once the parasite infects a dog, it actively grows, reproduces, and spreads throughout the body. Dubbed heartworms due to their tendency to embed in the heart muscle, these parasites inhabit the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of infected dogs. Diagnosing them poses a challenge, as symptoms typically manifest only when the infection has significantly advanced. These worms can cause severe damage to internal organs. The likelihood of humans contracting this parasite is low.


This parasite can be transmitted from mother to child before birth. Excreted and then swallowed eggs can also transmit it. The egg can survive without a host for weeks and infect humans, especially children (making you question every sandbox you played in as a child). In dogs, it can cause stunted growth and a pot-belly appearance. Worms also emerge from both ends.


These dreadful creatures infect your dog through the consumption of infected mother's milk, ingestion of eggs, or burrowing into the skin. They are tiny vampires, feeding on animal blood by entering the GI tract and tearing holes in the lining, leading to ulcers. They pose a lethal threat to young puppies and can induce anemia in adult dogs. Additionally, they can burrow into human skin. Sandboxes, akin to roundworms, are notorious vectors of transmission. Why do we allow kids to play in sandboxes? 


The classic pest that infests your dog's fur is a constant annoyance, as it bites and causes skin irritation. It can also serve as 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

To prevent parasites in dogs, ensure they receive regular vaccinations. Your vet can provide you with a vaccination schedule. Schedule an annual wellness check for your dog so that your vet 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.

Are you worried about your dog getting infected with parasites? Contact our Burlington and Bellingham vets to book an appointment with our compassionate team.

New Patients Welcome

Chuckanut Valley Vet Clinic and Chuckanut Feline Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Burlington and Bellingham companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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