Our pets share our homes, our kitchens, and often our beds. Unfortunately, they might also be sharing some unwanted guests – Intestinal WORMS!
Texas is a hot spot for all types of parasites. Our weather provides the perfect breeding ground for a host of bugs and worms. In the Austin and surrounding communities there is a large pet and wildlife presence adding to the parasite burden. Our pets and local wildlife share parks and common areas for potty breaks making it easier to transmit and share illness.
Many puppies and kittens are born with roundworms, hookworms or both. These worms or intestinal parasites are passed from the mom to her babies either during pregnancy or while nursing. These tiny parasites can cause poor growth, diarrhea, vomiting or death in young pets.
Adult pets are not immune to these parasites. Pet’s who come into contact with other animals’ feces, eat grass, or drink from untreated water sources like creeks and lakes may end up with bloody, runny stool or vomiting caused by intestinal parasites.
Having your pet tested annually for intestinal parasites is important for wellness care. Since the eggs are microscopic, many times you won’t be able to see any evidence with the naked eye. Identification of any intestinal parasites before symptoms occur can prevent large vet bills in the future.
What does this mean for the humans in the house?
Roundworms and hookworms are zoonotic, meaning that they can be passed to humans. Children and older adults are especially susceptible and can suffer blindness, seizures, or organ dysfunction. In extreme cases, young children have lost an eye to roundworm infections.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 14 percent of the U.S. population is infected with roundworms. That’s nearly 40 million people!
Parents should teach children to wash their hands after playing with the pets or playing in the yard where pets defecate.
Diagnosis, Prevention & Protection
ZippiVet has developed “strategic de-worming” protocols to help protect both people and pets. We utilize advanced fecal testing to evaluate for common intestinal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia.
Puppies and kittens should routinely receive de-worming medication. Every pet should have a yearly fecal test. Additionally, both dogs and cats require year-round intestinal parasite protection through the use of a monthly heartworm such as Revolution, Heartgard, or Sentinel.
Our pets are a big part of our lives, and we want to share as much as we can with them. Playing it safe and following our guidelines for de-worming means that you can share a much longer, healthier life together!
The Companion Animal Parasite Council is the leading expert on intestinal parasites of all domesticated animals. If you’re nerdy like us, or you are just curious, check out their website.