Intestinal Parasites – Fecal Test Awareness

By July 24, 2019Blog

For many of us, exploring San Diego with our pets is enjoyable and relaxing.

Visiting our beautiful beaches and parks is a weekend pastime, but these activities do increase our pet’s exposure to intestinal parasites.

There is no need to forgo these activities, instead focus on prevention by talking with one of the veterinarians here at CoastView Veterinary about the options for broad-spectrum dewormers – many of which are disguised as a palatable treat.

If you have ever found “worms” or intestinal parasites in your pet’s stool – you know how alarming, and gross it can be. The truth is that our pets are exposed to intestinal parasites daily. Parasites reside in both soil and water. Even insects, like fleas, can transmit these bugs to our beloved pets.

You may be wondering why your pet should be screened for intestinal parasites every year – even when your pet seems to be feeling fine? This is a common question we hear from many pet parents.

Bottom line: Most pets do not show any signs or symptoms while they are infected and “shedding” (spreading!) contagious parasites through defecation outdoors or in the kitty litter box.

For those pets who develop signs or symptoms, you may notice ‘scooting’ behavior, vomiting, or diarrhea. Diarrhea can be loose to watery and may even contain blood. Prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea can result in severe dehydration requiring hospitalization. Other potential complications from intestinal parasites include anemia, coughing, and lack of appetite.

The Importance of Annual Fecal Tests:

Intestinal parasites may shed segments that are visible in the stool. However, the majority of parasites can be seen only with a microscope.

These parasites are not only problems for dogs and cats, but many of them are zoonotic which means they can be passed to humans as well. Roundworms can cause blindness in people and children are the highest risk.

Testing a stool sample is an inexpensive, non-invasive procedure. You simply bring us a fresh stool sample and we run the diagnostics. Results are typically back within 24-48 hours.

Dewormers and Preventative Medication:

Intestinal parasites can be prevented with proper medication given as directed by your veterinarian.

Dewormers can be administered in a variety of ways; injections, liquids, and pills.

Products like Interceptor Plus have made it extremely easy to deworm your pet. The tablet is a chewable, beef-flavored treat. It is given once a month with a meal.

Many dogs are eager to take this medication! Interceptor Plus deworms monthly for Hookworms, Roundworms, Whipworms, and Tapeworms.

Interceptor Plus is also a Heartworm Preventative.

And be sure to ask about current rebates and promotions available for Interceptor Plus.

Additional Resources:

Here are links to The Companion Animal Parasite Council and The Center for Disease Control websites for more information about worms and parasites in dogs, cats, and people:

As always, please feel free to give us a call to speak with a Fear Free Certified Professional regarding intestinal parasites, deworming, and fecal testing.

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