What are intestinal parasites?
Intestinal parasites are small organisms that live in the intestines of their host. There, they consume nutrients and grow, preventing the host from absorbing their needed nutrients.
How do pets get intestinal parasites?
Pets become infected by ingesting the eggs of the parasite. This can happen by eating other animals or insects, most often fleas, which are infected, licking it off themselves after being exposed to infected material, or through the mother’s womb and milk.
What are the signs or symptoms of intestinal parasites?
If a pet is infected with intestinal parasites, he or she may not show any symptoms for a long time. If the parasites do make the pet sick, there is often diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, anemia, enlarged abdomen and continuous hunger.
Are intestinal parasites dangerous to my family?
Yes. Some of these parasites are able to be passed to humans and cause illness. To prevent infection, wash your hands thoroughly after playing with animals, clean up after pet feces, and do not allow children to play in high– risk areas.
How do I treat intestinal parasites?
The best way to test for intestinal parasites is a stool sample and screening that searches for the parasites eggs. If the sample is positive for parasites, oral medication will usually be used to treat them.
How often should I test for intestinal parasites?
The doctors of Winslow Animal Hospital and the center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adult pets be tested every 6-12 months. For puppies and kittens, the parasites may not mature enough to be detected in a routine screening, so a preventative dewormer is recommended every two weeks until the pet is 16 weeks of age, followed by an additional fecal examination. Protecting your pets protects your family.