Almost all puppies and kittens are born with intestinal parasites. Breeders typically deworm puppies and kittens every two weeks until they are adopted. Once your pet arrives at Family Pet, we will do a fecal test to check for specific parasites. Since parasite eggs are only shed intermittently, they will not always show up in a fecal sample – So if the test result is negative, we will do a series of two dewormings three weeks apart. If the test result is positive, additional dewormings may be needed. In either case, we like to see two negative fecal samples before we are satisfied that your pet is parasite-free.
We generally recommend that adult dogs and cats have fecal samples tested once a year, and deworming be done four times a year on pets belonging to immunocompromised individuals. Using the AAVP/CDC protocol as a guideline, your veterinarian will work with you to determine the best parasite prevention plan for your individual pet.
Adults and children can be accidentally infected with roundworm, hookworm, and tapeworm, which are common parasites of dogs and cats. It is estimated that 10,000 children in the United States are infected annually with roundworm. People are exposed when they work or play in contaminated soil (garden or sandbox) and then accidentally put dirty hands in their mouth. Sometimes fruits and vegetables that grow close to the ground are contaminated.
Besides deworming your pet regularly, and washing your hands often, there are other measures you can take to decrease exposure to intestinal parasites:
If you or your child experience symptoms including fever, malaise, cough, rash, wheezing, appetite loss, or weight loss, consult your doctor immediately. The majority of intestinal parasite cases in humans are asymptomatic; however they can also affect the eye, skin, or nervous system.
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