The importance of deworming
Do you ever wonder why your veterinarian wants to check a sample of your pet’s feces on those routine examinations or any time your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea? Well it’s to look for evidence (e.g., eggs) of worms that could be living in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. some worms that live in relative harmony with your pet, and you may not know they even exist. But most gastrointestinal worms pose risks to your pets health and some are a health threat to humans (especially children) because the exit these parasites contaminate the soil.
What are the clinical signs of intestinal parasites?
Signs and the severity depends on the parasite involved, the number of worms, the age and immune system of the pet, and the presence of other worms or other diseases. Clinical signs can vary from constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, lethargy, poor haircoat, pale gums, poor growth rate in puppies and kittens, a “pot belly” appearance, “scooting” on the rear end, vomiting, weakness, and weight loss. Some of these parasites can eventually cause death.
How can I prevent intestinal parasites from infecting my dog or cat?
All puppies and kittens should have a fecal examination twice a year and should be treated for roundworms and hookworms even if the examination is negative. This is because eggs can be shed intermittently (and therefore may not show up on the day that the stool is examined). Adult should have their stools checked once a year.
Can any of these intestinal parasites be transmitted to the rest of my family?
Yes. Diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals are known as zoonotic diseases. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly, especially after handling pets or cleaning up pet waste. Remove pet droppings from your guard at least 2 to 3 times a week. Children should avoid playing in known animal toileting areas, and be sure to cover sandboxes when not in use.