It’s hard to imagine that your adorable kitty or your precocious dog may be harboring intestinal parasites, but it can be true.
Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms are more common than you may think.
The idea that your beloved pet may be infested definitely bears thinking. Hookworms and whipworms can be so tiny that they are hardly noticeable, but roundworms and tapeworms can grow large enough to be seen with the naked eye.
Worm infestations can cause some symptoms or it can show no symptoms at all.
Signs to watch out for include:
– Diarrhea that may or may not be bloody
– Dry fur
– Poor appetite
– Weight loss
A worm infestation can also lie in a state of inactivity, such as when worm eggs or larvae get active only when the animal becomes sick or stressed. Pregnant pets with intestinal parasites can pass the worms on to their children too.
Keep in mind that parasites have existed for thousands of years, and it is their main goal to survive by staying undetected for as long as possible. Female roundworms are known to lay more than a hundred thousand eggs in just one day.
Whipworms in dogs can be difficult to detect and hookworms may even kill small puppies. Coccida can cause bad diarrhea in cats and maybe even threaten the lives of young, delicate kittens.
Tapeworms can grow more than five inches in length and are notoriously hard to kill.
All these reasons and more are why it is important for your pet to have regular checkups. These worms can harm or even kill delicate pets. This is why it is so important for your pet to take monthly preventatives and to undergo an annual fecal examination.
The first thing you need to do for your pet to undergo the exam is to collect a stool sample.
Our intestinal parasite exams are done by centrifugation which helps yield a higher percentage of parasite eggs than flotation exams. Centrifugal fecal flotation is the best way to diagnose intestinal parasites in both cats and dogs because the results are more accurate and can be observed faster than the simpler fecal flotation technique.
Aside from collecting the sample, we will also make sure to check your pet for other signs of health problems. A tapeworm infestation, for example, may be observed when the worms themselves get stuck on the pet’s fur.
If infestation is detected we will dispense the proper treatment to help bring your pet back to perfect health again.
An intestinal parasite exam is not just good for your pet, but for your whole family too. These parasites may also pose a health risk for humans. For example, hookworm larvae can leave scars on the skin, and ingested roundworm eggs can grow inside the body.
Contact us now to request an exam for your pet, and help keep your home safe and healthy for everyone.