Parasites are a common and essential reason for disease in dogs. Although many people know about external parasites like fleas and ticks, many do not understand that intestinal tract parasites can likewise cause significant health problems.
Intestinal Parasites in Dogs
What are intestinal tract parasites?
Digestive tract parasites are parasites that live inside the host animal’s intestinal tract. Examples consist of worms, like roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms and protozoa, such as, giardia and coccidia.
How do dogs get digestive parasites?
Dogs can contract digestive tract parasites by means of different routes. Parasites are usually transmitted when an animal inadvertently ingests parasite eggs or spores in polluted soil, water, feces or food. In the case of tapeworms, they can also be sent when a dog consumes an infected flea. Young puppies, on the other hand, typically get digestive tract parasites from their mom. Transmission can occur in utero or from nursing.
Why should you care?
Intestinal tract parasites can cause malnutrition, weight reduction, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia. Besides making our family pets ill, many of these parasites can affect people. According to kidshealth.org, “20% of dogs pass toxocara eggs in their stool.” Toxocara can cause damage to the eyes and neglected can lead to vision loss, specifically in children.
What are the symptoms of intestinal parasites?
While external parasites, like fleas and ticks, are simple to spot, intestinal tract parasites are rarely seen due to the fact that they live inside your pet’s intestinal tract and pass microscopic eggs or spores in your animal’s stool that are too little to be seen by the naked eye. Tapeworms are one exception– they shed sections that look like sesame seeds or grains of rice and are usually seen in your animal’s stool or around their rectum. Roundworms are another exception since they might occasionally be seen in your animal’s vomit or stool. Nonetheless, intestinal parasites are hard to spot and you ought to not count on seeing them before taking your dog to the veterinarian.
Besides being hard to detect, lots of dogs infected with intestinal parasites are asymptomatic. Even symptomatic dogs may go undetected since their symptoms can be nonspecific. The most typical signs and symptoms of digestive parasites are:
Because dogs infected with intestinal tract parasites can exhibit no symptoms or subtle symptoms that can be quickly overlooked; the best way to guarantee that your dog is parasite-free is to take him to the veterinarian a minimum of once a year for check-ups. Your veterinarian will examine your dog and perform fecal testing. A fecal evaluation permits your veterinarian to detect digestive parasites by looking for tiny eggs or spores in your family pet’s stool.
How can you avoid digestive parasites?
While the idea that your animal might have digestive tract parasites may offer you the heebie-jeebies, intestinal tract parasites are treatable as well as much easier to avoid. In reality, many individuals are already protecting their family pets and household from intestinal parasites and don’t even know about it. Did you understand that most month-to-month heartworm medications also include a broad dewormer that safeguards your pets not just from heartworm disease but likewise from numerous intestinal tract parasites? If your dog is not currently on month-to-month parasite preventatives, take him to your veterinarian to discuss how you can protect your animals and household from intestinal parasites. Also, prior to you bring a brand-new pet into the household it’s important to have them checked by your vet so that they do not expose your other pets or family to parasites.
Although intestinal parasites are treatable, bear in mind that the best method to secure your pets versus parasites is to keep them on parasite preventatives and have their stool inspected at least when a year.