Keeping pets healthy, and families happy.

Intestinal Parasites & Your Pet

Our pets are like family, and like any member of your family it is important to keep them healthy and free of parasites. At some point during the lifetime of your pet they will likely be infected with an internal or external parasite.

Internal parasites can be worm-like (e.g., roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, or tapeworms) or single-celled organisms (e.g., Isospora, Giardia,Toxoplasma).

Parasites can be shared! Parasites are shared, not only between dogs and cats, but they can also be passed on to you and your family. Most parasites can be found in sandboxes, dirt, grass and are released as microscopic ‘eggs’ through feces which can live in an environment for prolonged periods of time.

What are the signs? The signs associated with parasite infections are fairly nonspecific, for example- a pot-bellied appearance, dull haircoat, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, mucoid or bloody bowel movements, loss of appetite, or pale mucous membranes.

Detecting parasites can be easy. Routine fecal testing is a quick way to diagnose if your pet is a host to any parasites. Treatment may require administering one or more dosages of a prescription medication provided by your veterinarian. Parasite re-infection is very common, but it can be prevented. Parasite control begins with:

  • good sanitation procedures such as, daily removal of feces from the environment, washing the litter box with a disinfectant regularly and regular hand washing
  • avoid pets licking you or family members on the mouth
  • avoiding overcrowded conditions
  • avoiding diets with raw meats
  • controlling intermediate hosts (fleas, ticks, and rodents)
  • administering worming medications as recommended by your veterinarian
  • covering an outdoor sandbox

For more important information about parasite control guidelines ask your veterinarian or visit Good parasite control is the key to a healthier and happier pet.