The best way to prevent intestinal parasites is to use a monthly preventative year-round and have a fecal test done every year. Hookworms, Roundworms, Whipworms and Tapeworms are the most common parasites we see.
Hoookworms are small intestinal parasites that reside in the small intestine. They feed on blood which can cause life threatening anemia. The eggs are passed in the stool and hatch into larvae which can infect your pet from skin contact or ingestion of the infected stool or soil. Hookworms are zooinotic-meaning they can be passed from animal to human.
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite affecting every 1 in 7 dogs. They are spaghetti like worms that are 3-4 inches long. Puppies and kittens can become infected from nursing from an infected mother. Adult pets contract them from ingesting infected stool or soil. Roundworms can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Roundworms are also zooinotic.
Whipworms are extremely difficult to diagnose, and are more common in dogs than cats. They are contracted by contact with infected soil and feces. They can cause anemia, weight loss and diarrhea. Whipworm eggs are very resistant and can live in the soil for years, causing re-infestation.
Tapeworms are segmented parasites that range from 4 to 28 inches in length. Pets get tapeworms by ingesting an intermediate host like a flea or rodent. The tapeworm segments resemble grains of rice and are usually seen in the stool or around the anus of the animal.
If your pet is having any gastrointestinal issues, call us and we will most likely suggest running a fecal test.