March and April are our Parasite Prevention months
It is recommended to deworm your pet 3 to 4 times a year to prevent your pet from becoming infested with parasites
Parasites don't want to kill your kitten or puppy they just want to use them as a dinner plate! Our goal is to prevent that from happening. Intestinal parasites have been around forever and are not going away, but you can control them with the proper deworming schedule! Hookworms and roundworms are by far the most common intestinal worms. Roundworms compete with your pet for food and hookworms live on blood causing anemia. Tapeworms are one of the most common seen worms here at City
Petcare they are carried by the common flea and when ingested can cause a serious infestation.
Rough hair coats, diarrhea, malnutrition progressing to intestinal obstruction, and anemia are common issues with worms! We want to feed our pets - not the parasites. That is why we deworm our pets on a regular basis. Don't wait until you are sure your pet has parasites – they have already caused damage by this point and your pet will have already suffered for quite some time. Imagine your pets body like a spa for parasites as longs as all there needs are being met they will have no reason to leave the body, you may not notice an infestation until it has become a serious infestation.
Common types of parasites found in dogs and cats.
Roundworms and Hookworms are most commonly found in puppies and kittens. These
parasites can be passed directly from the mother before they are born or afterwards
in the milk. Additionally, animals of any age can become infected with roundworms or
hookworms through fecal-oral transmission. The eggs are very common in the environment
and animals can become infected by eating something contaminated with feces containing
the eggs. Both of these worms are Zoonotic meaning humans can get these worms as well.
Whipworms are more often found in adult animals but can be found in puppies
as well. Dogs are more commonly affected. Fecal-oral transmission is also how
animals become infected with whipworms. Whipworms are Zoonotic as well meaning humans can contract these parasites.
Tapeworms are very common in our area. Animals most often become infected
with tapeworms by ingesting fleas that are carrying the immature stages of the tapeworm
or by eating rodents, rabbits, etc. Animals with flea infestations and animals
that are good hunters are more at risk for tapeworms. Any animal diagnosed with a flea infestation should do a course of deworming to prevent any serious tapeworm infestation. Tapeworms are Zoonotic meaning humans can contract these parasites as well.
Coccidium is a single celled parasite (not a worm) that commonly infects
dogs and cats. It is spread by fecal-oral transmission. Coccidium is very hardy and
can be hard to eliminate in the environment. Animals kept in a coccidia
contaminated area can get coccidia multiple times. Coccidium is species specific if your pet is infected there are no chances of you contracting this parasite from them.
When do pets first start getting there deworming?
Almost all puppies and kittens are born with intestinal parasites. Breeders typically deworm puppies and kittens every two weeks until they are adopted. Once your pet arrives at City Petcare we will do a fecal test to check for specific parasites. Since parasite eggs are only shed intermittently, they will not always show up in a fecal sample – So if the test result is negative, we will do a series of two dewormings two weeks apart. After the deworming if the fecal test result is positive, additional dewormings may be needed.
In either case, we like to see two negative fecal samples before we are satisfied that your pet is parasite-free. We generally recommend that adult dogs and cats have fecal samples tested once a year and deworming be done three to four times per year depending on your pet’s lifestyle.
Can parasites be transferred to humans?
Adults and children can be accidentally infected with roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm. These are the most common parasites of dogs and cats. People are exposed when they work or play in contaminated soil (garden or sandbox) and then they accidentally put their dirty hands in their mouths. Sometimes fruits and vegetables that grow close to the ground are contaminated.
Besides deworming your pet regularly and washing your hands often, there are other measures you can take to decrease exposure to intestinal parasites:
• Clean up after your dog! Don’t leave feces in our parks or parkways, or in your yard. Daily maintenance is best!
• Control fleas! Fleas spread tapeworm.
• Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
• Do not allow children to go barefoot or sit on playgrounds or beaches where they are exposed to pet feces. (Hookworm larvae can penetrate the skin and cause serious inflammation)
• Clean cat boxes daily and wash hands afterward.
• Treat your dog and cat year round with a monthly heartworm preventive that also controls
Intestinal parasites – Ask your veterinarian which is the best product for your pet!
How will I know if my pet has parasites?
- Many pets show no symptoms.
- When pets do exhibit symptoms, diarrhea is the most common one. Diarrhea can range from mildly loose stool to severe watery bowel movements.
- Kittens and puppies may have a pot-bellied appearance, and may fail to grow and thrive as they should.
- Vomiting may occur in pets.
- Pets with parasite infestations may have poor quality hair coats.
- Weight loss.
- Pets may pass worms in vomit or stool.
- Rice like debris around your pets anus
- Puppies and kittens with severe diarrhea due to roundworm infestations may become dehydrated, fail to grow, and even die.
- Pets with parasites may suffer weight loss or fail to thrive.
- Pets with parasite infestations release eggs into the environment via the feces. These eggs can then spread the infestations to other pets or to humans.
Many of the most common parasites are commonly diagnosed by identification of their eggs in feces. This is done by preparing the feces in a special manner and evaluating with a microscope. Fecal tests for parasites are not 100% accurate because the worms do not continuously shed eggs. If only small numbers of eggs are present they may not be detected by the test.
Young puppies and kittens suffer an exceptionally high rate of roundworm infestation. Because of this, many experts recommend that veterinarians and owners assume all pets in this age group have worms regardless of the results of fecal tests.
The preventative medications are effective in removing and preventing parasites in most cases. Other medications may be employed in deworming protocols.
Be sure to follow your veterinarian's instructions carefully when deworming your pet. This will help to ensure the efficacy of the procedure.
In pets diagnosed with any parasite, repeated stool samples are recommended to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
Many deworming protocols involve repeated doses of medication. These doses should be administered according to the instructions of your veterinarian.
After receiving deworming medicines, some pets will pass dead or dying worms in their feces.