Patton Veterinary Hospital

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Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites are a potentially dangerous burden to animals as well as their human friends. The most common of these parasites include: roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tape worms, coccidia, and giardia. While most commonly puppies and kittens are affected, any age dog or cat can have these parasites. This includes indoor only cats!!

Signs of parasites in your pets may include: diarrhea, excessive scooting or licking of the area around the tail, vomiting, decreased or increased appetite, weight loss, increased appetite, poor coat, distended belly, and occasionally you may see the actual parasite. Unfortunately, may pet owners are fooled into comfort when they do not SEE any worms in their pets’ stools. However, tape worms and roundworms are the only parasites that are visible to the naked eye, and you do not always SEE these parasites even if the pets have an infection.
Prevention is easy- yearly fecal testing performed by your veterinarian will help detect any parasite problems. Monthly heartworm prevention such as Heartgard, Iverhart, Interceptor, Trifexis, and Revolution also protects from many (not all) intestinal parasites as well.

Concern for human infection is real. While most parasites are transmitted to people via fecal-oral contamination, hookworms can be transmitted through the skin into the body. That means stepping in infected soil with bare feet in your backyard can result in a serious infection. Not only will yearly testing ensure that your pet is healthy, it will keep you and your family safe as well!

Link to the Center for Disease Control 


Protection and testing made easy.

We at Patton Veterinary Hospital strive to keep our patients parasite free! That’s why we recommend checking a sample of your pet’s poop (fecal or stool sample) at least once a year. It is so important to screen for intestinal worms like roundworms, hookworms and whipworms and other intestinal parasites like giardia and coccidia. All of these can affect your pet causing poor growth, weight loss, diarrhea and other symptoms.

Indoor pets are not immune to parasites so ALL pets should be evaluated and routinely treated for internal parasites. Even pets who spend little to no time outdoors can sometimes get worms from places like potted plants, insects or the occasional mouse in the house that they might find and eat, and they can get tapeworms from having fleas.

Many pets have no symptoms of parasite infestation. These pets can be silent carriers passing parasites on to other dogs and cats and some of these parasites can be passed to humans causing serious illnesses. We don’t ever want anyone’s child to contract hookworms or roundworms or other parasites from their pets. Help us to keep your pets and your families safe. Please remember to bring a sample of your pet’s poo to your next appointment!