Deworming Your Pets
-Why is deworming important?
- Parasites (including worms) are organisms that live on or within animals.
- Parasites use the same food sources as your pet, and may cause disease.
- 60 - 85% of puppies and kittens are born with roundworms.
- In puppies and kittens, a heavy parasite load is life-threatening.
- Several parasites can be transferred from pets to humans.
- Most parasites can be transferred to other pets.
-Why should fecal exams/parasite screens be run?
- Most parasite eggs are microscopic or not visible to our eye.
- There are several types of parasites which may infect your pet.
- There are several different medications used to treat infections.
-What will we find on fecal exams/parasite screens?
Bacterial infections (i.e. Campylobacter, Bacterial Overgrowth)
Ascarid Infections (i.e. Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms)
Single Celled Parasites (i.e. Coccidia, Giardia)
-What won't we find on fecal exams/parasite screens?
Certain parasites do not shed eggs continuously (e.g. roundworms), rather, they shed in cycles. This makes it difficult to diagnose an infection if only a single fecal sample is run. Therefore, in puppies and kittens, fecal examinations are recommended every 3-4 weeks until 2 consecutive negative results are attained.
Another parasite in which worm eggs are rarely seen upon fecal exam are tapeworms. Tapeworms are transmitted by fleas and through ingestion of mice, birds and rabbits. Tapeworm segments resemble sesame seeds or grains of rice, and are usually found around the anus or in the pets' bedding. Please let the doctor know if you have observed these segments. Any pet which hunts or has fleas should be routinely de-wormed every 3-4 months for tapeworms.
Puppies and kittens:
Less 6 wks : Fecal exam and strategic deworming every 2 wks (including the mother) 8-9 wks, 9-12 wks, 12-15 wks : Fecal exam and strategic deworming (regardless of fecal exam results) 6 months and annually : Fecal exam and strategic deworming.