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Checking a pets stool at any age is important to maintain the health of your pet and your family. Parasites can be present at any age even while your dog/cat may not even show symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, etc.). Some parasites can actually spread to humans through direct contact with the pet’s stools or even just by walking around barefoot!
We recommend checking a fecal sample at minimum once a year during your pet’s wellness visit. This is an easy screening for the most common intestinal parasites in dogs and cats. It is also important to rule out parasites any time your pet his having diarrhea and/or vomiting. The best way to prevent the most common parasites is to give your pet a monthly heartworm preventative which includes a dewormer. VMC carries Trifexis, Heartgard, and Revolution for our canine patients and Profender and Revolution for our feline patients.
Common parasites in pets include Roundworms and hookworms. Hookworms and roundworms can be harbored by your dog or cat and transmitted to children who are living in homes with pets. In some cases these parasites can cause blindness in humans. It is thought that 30% to 50% of dogs and cats carry gastrointestinal (GI) parasites and that 1 to 3 million people in the U.S. have infections from the same parasites carried by pets. Children, the elderly and immunocompromised people are at high risk. (www.veterinarypartner.com )
Dogs get infected with hookworms and roundworms by walking places where other dogs have defecated. The microscopic roundworm eggs and hookworm larvae end up on your dog’s feet. Your dog then licks his feet and infects him or herself with these GI parasites. Three weeks later, your dog is shedding hookworm eggs and larvae from his GI tract. If your dog licks his anus and then licks your child, or if your child pets your dog, he or she can become infected with these parasites. (www.veterinarypartner.com)
Ask your veterinarian about checking a stool sample next time your pet is in for an exam. Checking just gives you peace of mind that your pet is healthy and your family is safe from these parasites.