How to Tell if Your Pet has Parasites

August 26, 2015 - 3 min read

Everyone loves spring…including a whole host of parasites starting to emerge from the dark. These nasties can have detrimental effects on your pets. But how do you know if your pet has parasites? Read on to find out.


Fleas are one of the most popular types of parasites to infest our four-legged friends. Fleas love warm, humid environments, and live on the skin of their ‘host’. They can often be found on the abdomen, tail and head of an animal.
Is your pet suffering for an infestation of fleas? Common signs include:

  • Skin irritation including rashes & scaly skin
  • Scratching and licking their skin
  • You may find droppings (flea dirt) in your pet’s coat
  • Excessive grooming & hair loss
  • There may be a visible patch of fleas on your pet’s coat

Fleas are not only detrimental to our pet’s health, but can also carry nasty diseases, which can be transmitted to humans. If you think that your pet may be suffering from fleas, it’s important to get them treated as soon as possible. Click here to find a local veterinary clinic.


Unlike many parasites, mites can live on, and inside, both dogs and cats. These types of parasites are so small that they’re indistinguishable to the human eye, and can only be seen under a microscope.
Because of their size, it can be hard to know for certain if your dog is ‘hosting’ mites. Common symptoms that your pet is suffering from these parasites include:

  • Skin irritation & inflammation
  • Severely scratching, licking & biting their coat
  • Shaking & rubbing their head on coarse surfaces
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Think your pet has mites? Click the link to find a vet near you.


Ticks live on the outside of an animal, and can often be found on both cats and dogs. There are 2 main types of ticks—the paralysis tick and the brown dog tick; both types will cause your pet severe discomfort.
Paralysis ticks can be difficult to detect, however, a few common signs that your pet may be a carrier of these parasites include:

  • No interest in eating
  • A change in the sound of their bark
  • Vomiting and regurgitation
  • A change to their walk, jump or general posture
  • Difficulty breathing

Left untreated, paralysis ticks can be detrimental to your pet’s health. If your dog is showing any of the signs above, contact your nearest veterinary clinic to arrange an emergency appointment.
Want more information on Paralysis ticks?


Heartworm disease can thrive in both cats and dogs, causing detrimental affects, if left untreated. This specie of parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes, which inject tiny heartworm larvae into your pet’s skin. This larvae travels through the body, fatally ending in the lungs and heart.
Some signs that your dog may have heartworm include:

  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Enlarged abdomen

It can be very difficult to detect heartworm, and is therefore extremely important to keep up to date with your dog’s heartworm prevention program. Medication can be consumed in the form of tablets, chews, syrups, top spots and injections.

Looking for a Tweed Coast veterinary clinic? Visit the practices below

Tweed Coast Vet
Contact number: (02) 6676 3199
Address: 14 Tweed Coast Road, Cabarita Beach, NSW 2488

  • Dental health
  • Radiology
  • In-house pathology
  • Surgery

Located on Cabarita Beach, Tweed Coast Vet is home to qualified staff who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of care for all pets. Whether you’re after some advice about parasites, or need to have your puppy immunised, Tweed Coast Vet can do it all.

Greenway Drive Veterinary Hospital
Contact number: (07) 5524 8111
Address: 7/12 Greenway Drive, Tweed Heads South, NSW 2486

  • Vaccinations
  • Flea & tick control
  • Microchipping
  • Desexing

Looking for a Tweed Coast vet where your pet is guaranteed specialist care and attention? Make sure you visit Greenway Drive Veterinary Hospital. Providing a range of services including flea and tick control, vaccinations, desexing and much more, there’s nothing this professional team of vets can’t handle. Book an appointment with Greenway Drive Veterinary Hospital today.