Archive | December 2, 2014

The Importance of Routine Intestinal Parasite Screenings

Why are intestinal parasites so harmful and why is it so important to prevent them in our pets? Parasites living in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract prevent your pet from digesting and absorbing nutrients properly, and cause serious illnesses, and even death. The most common symptoms of intestinal parasites may include: vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, poor coat and a ravenous appetite. Keep in mind that these parasites can affect your pet’s health long before any symptoms appear. Roundworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, Whipworms, Coccidia, and Giardia are the most common intestinal parasites found in cats and dogs. Some of these parasites are considered “zoonotic” which means that they can also infect humans; this is why it is so important to have your pet periodically screened for intestinal parasites. These preventative screenings¬†can identify the specific intestinal parasite(s) your pet may have, which is important for determining the best method of treatment, and helping to ensure your pet a full recovery. Just because you aren’t visibly seeing any parasites passing in your pet’s stool doesn’t mean that they’re not there. Most of these parasites aren’t visible in your pet’s feces which is another reason your pet should be screened for these parasites at least 1-2 times a year for adult cats and dogs, and 2-4 times a year to keep your puppy or kitten completely protected for their first year of life.

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How does my pet contract intestinal parasites? Intestinal parasites are transmitted from pet to pet by fleas, contaminated feces and soil, and young animals (puppies and kittens) are infected with them either in the womb or by their mother’s milk.¬† Once initial deworming is completed, dogs and cats should be put on a monthly, year-round product that prevents intestinal parasites as well as heartworm infection.