What are intestinal parasites?
Parasites in general are an organism that lives in or on and takes its nourishment from another organism, Pets can contract intestinal parasites via different routes. Pets Parasites are usually transmitted when an animal inadvertently ingests parasite eggs or spores in contaminated soil, water, feces or food. In the case of tapeworms, they can also be transmitted when a pet eats an infected flea.
Why should you care?
Intestinal parasites can cause malnutrition, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia and in some cases death. Intestinal parasites not only make our pets sick, many of these parasites can affect people. Pets may pass Intestinal parasites to people through facial liking, dogs passing eggs to human is not easy, but it happens some types may cause damage to the eyes and untreated can lead to vision loss, especially in children.
Why Fecal Samples are Important!
Fecal tests are important because it’s the best way to screen for intestinal parasites that can cause anemia, weight loss, bloating, intestinal blockage, and even death in affected animals.
Kittens and puppies often contract intestinal parasites from their mothers while they’re nursing, and adult pets can get several types of parasites through contact with other animals and contaminated soil and water. Usually, animals who get intestinal parasites contract them by accidentally consuming microscopic eggs or larvae, which then hatch and take up residence in the intestinal tract.
And it’s not just your pets who may suffer: for example, roundworm infection is relatively common among people, and it can cause stomach pain, pneumonia, and even spontaneous blindness. That’s just one reason that keeping your pet pest-free is important for the whole family!
What Parasites Do Fecal Exams Screen For?
Here are a few of the parasites that fecal exams screen for:
Hookworms: These microscopic worms feed on blood by attaching to the intestinal wall.
Roundworms: Also called nematodes, roundworms are parasites that can cause anemia, vomiting, intestinal damage, and weight loss, but many times infected animals show no symptoms. Nearly all dogs and cats become infected with roundworms at some point during their lives.
Whipworms: Whipworms are a significant threat to pets who contract them. This parasite can cause anemia, weight loss, and even death.
Giardia: This parasite can infect dogs, cats, and humans, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and other problems. However, not all animals with giardia have symptoms.
Coccidia: There are 6 species of coccidia-type parasites that infect dogs and cats. Coccidiosis can cause diarrhea, weight loss, and (in extreme cases) hemorrhaging and death.
Fecal samples are just one of the tools we use daily to ensure your furbabies’ health and wellness, and for the month of March we are offering: