Run Oskee, Run!

Run Oskee, Run!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Its a Case of the Worms! Ugh, Yuck!!!

As veterinarians we deal with worms on a daily basis, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms...the list goes on! But how do these worms affect your furry family member on a daily basis?

Intestinal parasites are found in the environment and can be passed to your pet in multiple ways but most of the time it happens through ingesting a parasite during their infective stage. They can cause an array of medical problems including diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, hemorrhage into the bowel, anemia, and intestinal blockages just to name a few. This is why we recommend yearly testing of stool samples. Most of the stools we run are sent to an outside lab and we get the results the next morning. When running a fecal we are not actually looking for the worm itself but the eggs shed by the worms. Sometimes, you may see the actual worm in a stool sample from your pet. We can sometimes distinguish which worm is which by looking at it. If they look like spaghetti, its a roundworm, if they look like little grains of rice, its a tapeworm. However, it is still best that we run a fecal, just in case your pet is infested with multiple types of intestinal parasites, especially the ones we cannot see grossly.

For the most part, intestinal parasites can be easily treated with a short course of oral dewormer. If your pet is positive on a yearly fecal check the doctor will prescribe the proper dewormer to remove those intestinal parasites from your pet. It is important to treat your pets when found infected because these parasite eggs can be transmitted to humans, most commonly children.

Intestinal parasites are a very common finding in veterinary medicine and if not treated can post a serious threat to your pet's health. It is often something that is overlook or thought of as no big deal, but I have personally seen dogs and cats with life threatening illnesses due to parasites.

Thanks for reading!
Have a Happy Worm Free Day!!

Doc E