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Parasite Prevention Month
Did you know:Approximately 3 million people every year contract intestinal parasites from their pets. The CDCC recommends checking your pets fecal sample every 6 months to best protect your pets and your family.
The four main intestinal parasites that can be harmful to your pet and your family are: roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm.
- Many flea control and/or heartworm prevention products provide a monthly de-worming that is especially helpful in minimizing environmental contamination.
- Medications anesthetize the worm so that it lets go of its grip on the host intestine and passes in with the stool. It can not survive in the environment and dies. It is likely that you will see worms in the stool and they will be moving because they are still alive, so be prepared.
- The larvae in migration cannot be killed by any of the treatment products. Once the adult worms are cleared they will be replaced by new worms completing their migration. This means it may take a second and even third de-worming to completely clear the intestine.
- Hookworms suck blood.
- Hookworms can be transmitted to unborn pups.
- Hookworms can infect humans.
Hookworms suck blood, which is why they can be especially dangerous for young puppies and the effects can be long lasting. An infected puppy may be weak, pale, iron and protein deficient any may or may not have diarrhea.
Treatment includes a de-worming product to clear the puppy of worms, but this may not be enough. A blood transfusion may be needed until the puppy can replace its red blood cells. An iron supplement may also be recommended.
Hookworms in Humans:
- Burrow into feet from walking barefoot in contaminated soil.
- Infection in skin is intensely itchy, but usually treatable.
- Can also become infected by consuming improperly washed vegetables. Humans can have a hookworm intestinal infection, but it is easy to treat.
- Whipworms attach to and live in the large intestine and suck blood.
- When multiple worms are embedded, tremendous inflammation can result, causing bloody gooey diarrhea. Usually the blood loss is not dangerous amounts, but the diarrhea can be difficult to control.
- Fecal tests can often be negative because female whipworms do not lay eggs frequently. However, if symptoms are consistent de-worming treatment is recommended regardless of the fecal results.
- Most common de-worming medications do not get rid of whipworms. It is usually necessary to follow up with a second or third de-worming treatment.
Pets are infected with tapeworms by consuming an adult flea. Tapeworms hook onto a dog or cats small intestine. Tapeworms absorb nutrients through its skin as the host digests food and grows a long segmented tail. When a segment drops off it is basically just a sac of tapeworm eggs. The sac is passed out of the hosts rectum and into the world, often the segments look like rice found on your dogs bed and around your home. Controlling fleas is the best way to prevent tapeworms.