Though common, parasites can be a scary disease in dogs and cats. Many people think of external parasites like fleas and ticks, but our pets have other lurking parasites. Intestinal parasites are the type of parasites that make their home inside your dog or cat’s gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal parasites include roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and protozoa. City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital is experienced in diagnosing treating common intestinal parasites in dogs and cats. Contact us if you think your pet may have an intestinal parasite. The sooner we start treatment, the sooner they’ll feel better.
Dogs and cats can get intestinal parasites a few ways. They are usually transmitted when the dog or cat ingests eggs from contaminated food, soil, water, or species. Tapeworms can also be transmitted when an animal eats an infected flea. Hookworms love to dig through your dog’s skin to lay their eggs. Puppies can contract intestinal parasites either in utero or while nursing from their mother. Intestinal parasites can lead to many health issues with your animals. They can cause weight loss, anemia, vomiting, malnutrition, and other stomach issues. Intestinal parasites can even affect pet owners. 20% of infected dogs pass Toxocara eggs in their stool to humans. This can cause damage to the eyes, leading to vision loss if untreated.
The symptoms of intestinal parasites in cats and dogs are sometimes hard to recognize. The parasites pass microscopic eggs or spores that are hard to see by the naked eye. Tapeworms are the only type of parasite that sheds segments that look like grains of rice in your pet’s stool. Many infected pets show no symptoms at all. The most common symptoms of intestinal parasites include:
The best way to ensure your pet is free of parasites is to let us examine them once a year. We’ll perform fecal testing to determine if they have any intestinal parasites.
Treatment for intestinal parasites in dogs is essential because they are contagious to both humans and animals. The infective larvae stick in the soil around the feces, enabling other animals or people to step in the infected soil easily. We treat each case depending on the type and severity of the infection. We often prescribe antibiotics and an anti-parasitic medication for your dog or cat. If your animal has a recurring infection, it will need additional care. Reinfection from the same environment is always possible.
It’s a scary thought to many pet owners that their animals may have intestinal parasites. The good news is that intestinal parasites are easy to prevent. Most monthly heartworm medications include a dewormer, helping to protect your dog from heartworms and many intestinal parasites. It’s important that your dog is on a monthly parasite preventative to ensure their optimum health. When you adopt a new pet, you should always have them checked so they don’t expose other family members to unknown parasites.
We want the best for your dog and cat. City by the Sea Veterinary is here to assist you with all your intestinal parasite healthcare needs. We’ll help prevent intestinal parasites with routine check-ups and heartworm medication and treat any intestinal parasite issues that may arise. Your pet is naturally curious, and you never know what they’re getting into outdoors. We’ll help you through the process if they become infected with an intestinal parasite. Contact us today to request an appointment.