Dogs and cats are susceptible to parasites. You can prevent and treat parasites very easily.
TYPES OF TEST
FECAL STOOL EXAM is used to diagnose the presence of intestinal parasites. A fresh stool sample from pups or kittens should be tested by your veterinarian when they are 6-8 weeks of age. Adult pets should have their stool tested every six months or at least yearly.
When you adopt a new dog or puppy, it is recommended to get a fecal test after about 10 days of the dog being home. Even if the dog or puppy had a fecal exam completed once brought into the rescue, the stress of going into a new home can weaken the immune system and resting parasites can surface. The average incubation period for parasites is 10 days.
HEARTWORM EXAM is used to search your petâs blood for evidence of heartworm infection. Puppies should be tested at six months of age. Adults should be tested annually in the spring. If you are bringing a dog in from a shelter ask if a heartworm test was done. If not, get a heartworm test immediately.
TYPES OF INTERNAL PARASITES
ROUNDWORMS of ascarids are intestinal parasites found in both dogs and cats. But the common ascarid of cats does not infect dogs and vice versa. Roundworm infection can be fatal in young puppies and kittens. These large worms fill the small intestine and interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Signs of roundworm infection in dogs include a pot belly, diarrhea, dull scruffy coat and weakness
WHIPWORMS are bloodsucking parasites that live in the large intestine. They cause inflammation, bloody stool and diarrhea. Your pet will experience abdominal pain, general malaise and a decreased appetite.
HOOKWORMS are bloodsucking parasites found in both dogs and cats. But the common hookworm of dogs does not infect cats and vice versa. Hookworm infection can cause severe, even fatal blood-loss especially in pups.
TAPEWORMS are common intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. Fleas, rabbits, mice, rats and other animals carry and intermediate stage in the life cycle of tapeworms. Dogs and cats become infected with tapeworms by eating these carriers. The most common tapeworm of dogs and cats is carried by fleas. If your pet is exposed to fleas, watch for tapeworm segments passing with your petâs stool.
COCCIDIA are intestinal parasites of dogs and cats which can cause diarrhea and weight loss. Coccidiosis usually affects young dogs and cats, especially those from places where large numbers of animals are kept together, such as kennels, catteries, pet stores and puppy mills.
GIARDIA is a single-celled parasite that lives in your dogâs intestine. It infects older dogs but more frequently infects puppies. Dogs become infected when they swallow Giardia that may be present in water or other substances that have been soiled with feces. Giardia infection, usually results in diarrhea. Having giardiasis a long time can cause weight loss; generally poor condition; and even death, when the disease is serious.
HEARTWORMS are most common in dogs, but cats have been known to be infected. They are parasites that spend their adult life in the heart and large blood vessels. They are transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. Much of the damage occurs before there are any outward signs. Therefore, prevention is the key in protecting your dog.
When your dog is diagnosed with an intestinal parasite, make sure you clean your hard of any fecal matter immediately after elimination to prevent reinfecting your dog or puppy. If your dog or puppy has accidents in the house, use bleach when possible to kill any remaining parasite.
Always consult your veterinarian with questions or concerns.