Intestinal Parasites

October 15, 2013


We recommend having your pet tested for intestinal parasites yearly. It is as easy as bringing in a fecal sample for us to run. Many of the common parasites your pet can get can be transferred to you or your children.


The most common pet parasites we see in feces are roundworms, whipworms, hookworms and tapeworms.


Pets can get roundworms by eating infected feces and things like rodents, and are most commonly transmitted from mother to kitten or puppy when they nurse. Roundworms can infect humans, generally by the human having touched the infected feces in some way and then putting his or her hand in her mouth – so ingesting the infected feces. Children are most likely to do this; however, adults can inadvertently do it also.


Signs of roundworms in your pet include:

  1. Vomiting

  2.  Diarrhea

  3.  Decreased appetite

  4. A pot-bellied appearance.

Hookworms are passed to our pets through grooming, the larvae can burrow into the skin, and pregnant dogs can pass it to their still developing puppies, through feces and through nursing. Hookworms infect humans most commonly by burrowing into bare feet walking in an infected environment such as sandy soils.


Signs of hookworms in your pet include:

1.         Pale gums and weakness from anemia

2.         Bloody diarrhea

3.         Weight loss


Dogs get whipworms from ingesting infected feces and/or contaminated soil. Whipworms are able to survive in the environment outside of the dog for up to five years. So once a dog has a whipworm infection it gets into the soil and is difficult to get rid of. Cats and humans generally do not get whipworms.


Signs of whipworms in your pet include:

1.         Weight loss