Davis Drive Animal Clinic - News

Intestinal Parasites

Most people think of fleas and ticks when they think of parasites. Think again! Not only are there five additional common parasites but dogs and cats can share them easily and pass them to you and your family.

Most parasites can be found in sandboxes, dirt, grass - a natural playground for kids. Parasites are released through an animal's feces and eggs can live in an environment for months.

What are the signs your pet might be infected?

  • Acute or chronic diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Poor hair coat
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Pot-belly look

How do you detect parasites?

Often there are no symptoms, especially in the early stages. The best way is to make sure you visit your veterinarian once a year, at minimal, and get a fecal exam.

Hookworm

What is it?:

Found in the small intestine where it attaches to the wall of the intestine using sharp teeth and sucks blood.

Commonly Infects:

Puppies, kittens and humans.

How is it transmitted?:

Puppies and kittens get it from mom. Also present in soil and transmitted during normal grooming. In humans, penetrates skin through feet or belly.

Signs to look out for:

Pale, weak, In humans; Red, itchy lesions.

Tapeworm

What is it?:

Found in the small intestine. An adult tapeworm is typically 6 to 12 inches long.

Commonly Infects:

Dogs and Cats.

How is it transmitted?:

Fleas eat tapeworm eggs and dogs and cats eat fleas while grooming.

Signs to look out for:

Often no signs. Dried up tapeworm segments look like sesame seeds or rice found near the pets bed.

Coccidia

What is it?:

Single celled organisms that reproduce in intestinal cells, ultimately killing the cell.

Commonly Infects:

Young kittens and puppies.

How is it transmitted?:

Eating infected dirt or feces. Licking fur that has been in touch with infected feces.

Signs to look out for:

Bloody, severe diarrhea.

Roundworm

What is it?:

Found in the small intestine of a dog or cat. Adult looks like spaghetti.

Commonly infects:

Usually found in puppies and kittens but can infect children.

How is it transmitted?:

Puppies and kittens infected while in moms body or drinking her milk. Consuming eggs in contaminated soil or ingesting an infected rodent. Children eating contaminated soil while playing in sandbox is common.

Signs to look out for:

Diarrhea, vomiting. Puppy has a pot-bellied look. Often no signs.

Giardia

What is it?:

Found in the small intestine and under the microscope looks like a smiley face.

Commonly infects:

Dogs, cats. Common in shelters where large groups of animals are housed. Can be transmitted to humans but rare.

How is it transmitted?:

Contaminated water. Licking fur that has been in touch with infected feces.

Signs to look out for:

Loose stool, diarrhea and vomiting.

Protect

  • Remove your pet's feces from your yard as often as possible
  • Avoid areas that have been soiled with animal stool
  • Avoid pets from licking your family in the mouth
  • Wash your hands well with soap and water after playing with pets and after outdoor fun (Teach your kids to always wash their hands when they come in and to not eat dirt)
  • Check your pet's bed area frequently


If you have any questions regarding intestinal parasites don't hesitate to contact the clinic!



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891 Davis Drive, Newmarket, ON
Phone: 905-898-4315
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