Parasite Prevention and Control

Intestinal parasites

A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host (dog, cat, raccoon, bird, squirrel, deer or human) and gets its ability to survive from or at the expense of its host. Parasites from our pets can cause disease in humans; some diseases are easily transmitted and easily treated and some are not, making them cases that require longer treatments and more follow up evaluations. The burden of working to prevent and, if needed, diagnosing these diseases is our duty to the health and wellbeing of pets and the people who own and love them.

Nearly 90% of the time, diagnosing an intestinal parasite comes from a microscopic evaluation of the pet's stool. Yes, that is why we constantly ask for you to bring us poop! The other 10% is where we may run special tests or even send the sample to a special lab for testing.

When we receive a stool sample we visually evaluate the sample for obvious signs like small segments or actual worms. Each intestinal parasite has its own specific way of living and shedding so not all of our results are as easy as seeing what you’re seeing. Learn more through these up to date, interactive maps on parasites from the CAPC and help learn why we take such detailed steps for stool sample evaluations.

Prevention and control is our main focus here at Buckeye Veterinary Clinic. This begins with educating our owners and the community so you can understand  how and why we test. The need for complete follow up from the veterinarian's recommended treatments is very important and vital to the health and well being of pets and humans alike!

Below are some classes of parasites we commonly talk about with you, our clients, and your pets. Thank you to the CAPC and the CDC for all this great information.

Roundworms

Theses can come from dogs, cats and raccoons. And yes, these can be passed to humans!

Hookworms

Eggs of hookworms are shed in the feces of infected animals and end up in the environment contaminating the ground where the animal stool was left. Humans become infected when the zoonotic hookworm larvae penetrate unprotected skin, especially when walking barefoot, gardening without gloves or sitting on contaminated soil or sand.

Whipworms

Like the hookworm, whipworms are spread by contaminated soil.

Tapeworms

Dogs and cats usually have a problem with this parasite because of fleas, but people need to be careful too because not all tapeworms are the dog- and cat-only variety! There are 11 different types of Tapeworms.

Pets may begin shedding segments of the common flea tapeworm as soon as 2 to 3 weeks following infection. For other types it may be as long as 1 to 2 months.

That is why we need to use our training and skill to make the proper diagnosis and proper treatment plan.

Coccidians

Because humans are not susceptible to Cystoisospora infections in dogs and cats, canine or feline coccidia are not considered zoonotic agents.

Giardia

Human infection from a dog or cat source has not been conclusively demonstrated in the USA. However, people with increased susceptibility to infection due to underlying disease or immune compromise should consider limiting their exposure to Giardia-infected pets

Heartworm

Heartworm Disease is transmitted by mosquitos and yes, it can be a fatal disease. That is why we recommend annual blood testing for dogs and monthly prevention to protect your dogs and cats. Heartworm testing for cats can be done and that is a recommendation based on the wellness exam by the Veterinary staff.

The Heartworm Life Cycle is shown below for both dogs and cats:

heartwom life cycle in cats and dogs

 

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