Intestinal parasites--most of us don't even want to think about "worms" and "eggs" all over our house much less talk about it. But we need to do a reality check here--our relationship with our pets have shifted, and they are much more likely to be part of the family and sharing our couches, chairs, and beds-which means intestinal parasites are a concern for our health as well as theirs.
Many parasites are zoonotic-which simply means that they can be passed onto humans and cause disease in humans as well as cats and dogs. We recommend parasite protection year round because parasites are not readily killed, and prevention is less expensive and safer for all of us than treatment.
What are the typical parasites our dogs and cats may have?
Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, tapeworms, and giardia are what we typically see in practice. We recommend that you bring a fecal sample for your pet's preventive care visit because that is what allows us to diagnose these parasites and provide treatment if necessary. You may also see evidence of parasite infection in your home--if you spot small flat white rice size segments around the litter box, in your carpeting, or on your furniture--Tapeworms have invaded your home. Roundworms look more like small spaghetti strands, and you might spot these as well. Other parasites are not so easy to see but they all have the potential to cause disease.
Year round flea prevention, regular fecal exams, and parasite prevention can go a long way towards keeping your home environment safe for all of your family members--please talk with us about any questions that you may have.