Courtesy Thomas Dock, Noah’s Brandywine Animal Hospital
Intestinal Parasite Awareness
“Be sure to bring a fecal sample when Fluffy comes in for her visit!”
How many times have you heard a veterinary receptionist, technician or even the veterinarian say that? Do you wonder why we have such a strong passion for seeing poop from your pet?
The answer to that question may not be the most appealing thing to you, but it does have a direct impact on the health of your pet AND of your whole family! Almost every puppy or kitten born into this world will come fully equipped with either roundworms or hookworms (or both) already living inside of them. These intestinal parasites are passed to the young animals from the mom through the placenta or through nursing and can be deadly to the young animal.
Adult animals will also carry these parasites, although there is much less danger to them. They tend to shed eggs from the parasites during times of stress. At the website, PetsAndParasites.com, you can track how prevalent these parasites are in your state and county.
But the bigger danger is actually to the two-legged members of your family. Both hookworms and roundworms are zoonotic, meaning they can be passed to humans from animals. We are not the normal hosts for these parasites, so their migration through our body can cause some serious issues, especially in children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 15% of the population of the United States has been infected with roundworms. In rare cases, children develop blurry vision, eye pain or have even had an eye removed due to the presence of roundworm larva. Hookworm larva actually burrow into our skin and travel through the body in the connective tissue. This condition is known as cutaneous larva migrans and is reported to be extremely uncomfortable due to the itchiness.
What About Heart Disease?
Another parasite that causes significant issues for our dogs and cats are heartworms. Unlike intestinal parasites, these foot-long worms live in the hearts and lungs of our pets. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, and it just takes one to infect your furry friend. Sadly, many pets die each year from this preventable disease.
So, what’s the best thing to keep you and your WHOLE family safe? Just follow a few simple rules:
First, listen to what your mother said and WASH YOUR HANDS! This is a great way to keep any of the parasite’s microscopic eggs from finding their way to your mouth when you eat. Parents should take extra care to make sure children clean their hands, especially after playing with pets or running in the yard where animals might defecate.
Second, pick up your pet’s poop and dispose of it. The sooner you can get it out of the yard, the less chance the parasite eggs will have to hatch and release infective larva.
The Vet Recommends …
Third, keep your pet current on monthly heartworm prevention, every month, all year long, even in the cold winter months. These medications will help to control roundworm and hookworm infestations and limit the number of eggs shed into your yard and will stop the heartworm larva from growing up to be adult heartworms!
Finally, don’t be shy when it comes to checking your pets for parasites. We should check stool samples at least every 6 months, and although twice a year may seem excessive to you, both roundworms and hookworms have a life cycle that can be completed in less than a month. An annual blood test to screen for heartworms should also be done. These testing protocols help veterinarians find the nasty parasites before for your pets or family develop serious health problems.
Call Noah’s Brandywine at (317) 462-7818 to make a free appointment for your pet by July 1, 2022!
IT’S THE SEASON FOR PREVENTION!
This season, take as good care of your pets as you do yourself with healthy check-ups and preventative care. Thanks to a Meals on Wheels America grant, we’re able to provide pet food, adoption, vet services, grooming and boarding for Meals on Wheels clients. And great news, we’re partnering with Noah’s Brandywine Animal Hospital to help you go the extra mile for your pet through our new Ani-meals program!
Sign up your pet for an appointment for the FREE
MOW pet preventative package that may include:
• Annual physical exam and vaccinations
• Recommended bloodwork
(including heartworm test and health screening panel)
• Stool test to screen for intestinal parasites
• 1-year supply of parasite prevention
(including flea/tick, heartworm, intestinal parasite control)
Contact Noah’s Brandywine Animal Hospital at (317) 462-7818 to set up a FREE pet appointment.
Book today! Offer expires July 1, 2022.*
Call Meals on Wheels at (317) 477-FOOD for meal and pet food delivery questions.
*Must be a client enrolled in the Meals on Wheels of Hancock County program for complimentary pet care.