The Word on Worms

Tape worms:  An intestinal parasite that has a long flat segmented body. These segments break off and can often be found hanging around the rectum of the animal. The segments have a “rice” like appearance. The tapeworm uses the flea as an intermediate host. The pet is infected when it ingests a flea that is host to a tapeworm.

Roundworms:  Roundworms are one of the most common intestinal parasites found in puppies and kittens. Puppies and kittens can be born with roundworms or infected post-partum by their mother’s milk.  Infection can also be related to ingesting contaminated fecal material.   Roundworms can be passed to humans by the fecal oral route.  Good hygiene is very important when handling animal feces.

Giardia: Is a microorganism that affects the intestinal tract of dogs, cats, people and a variety of other animals.  Infection occurs by ingesting contaminated material such as water, food, or feces.   The most common sign of Giardia is diarrhea and can often be tinged with blood.

Coccidia: Is a microorganism that affects the intestinal tract.  Animals are infected by ingesting contaminated fecal material. Coccidia is commonly seen in young and immune compromised animals. Coccidia is not a danger to humans.

Heartworm: Heartworms are deadly parasites that live in the heart and lungs of dogs and cats. These parasites are spread by mosquitoes and when left untreated can be fatal. A simple blood test is used to diagnose the disease.

Whipworms:   An intestinal parasite that gets its name from the long whip like shape of its body. Infection is caused by ingesting material that is contaminated by fecal material.  Common symptoms are diarrhea and malnutrition. Whipworms can affect dogs, cats and people alike.

Hookworm:  An intestinal parasite that thrives in wet climates. Infection is caused by ingesting larvae or larval migration thru the skin.  Hookworms attach to the intestinal walls and feed on blood and tissue.  Hookworms can be found in dogs ,catspeople alike. 


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