the time of year when the children, both 2-legged and 4-legged, are running around at the park, the beach, and in our own yards. Beautiful weather abounds, with bright flowers and warm sunny days and sunsets. Spring cleaning is over, and we sit back and relax—taking in the sounds and sights of the summertime…But wait! What you can’t see can hurt you and your pets. Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and Giardia can cause serious health problems:
- Blood loss and anemia
- Damage to internal organs
- Nutrient loss
- Allergic reactions
Worse yet, some of these parasites can be transmitted to people, especially children who touch and ingest everything they shouldn’t like dirt and grass. Even playing with Max or Fluffy can be life-threatening if they should become exposed to these zoonotic parasites. Zoonotic parasites can cause various problems in humans:
- Digestive upsets
- Liver and lung damage
- Skin lesions
- Partial or total blindness
These parasites can be transmitted to your pet year round. Unfortunately, infections can go undetected. That’s why frequent fecal testing is important for effective detection and treatment of intestinal parasites.
Recommendations on keeping your entire family safe
The Companion Animal Parasite Council, a nationally recognized board of specialized veterinarians, recommends testing healthy adult pets for parasites at least one to two times per year. Also, take the following precautions to help keep your family safe from parasites:
- Remove your pet’s feces from the yard as frequently as possible. Be sure to dispose of it properly
- Keep family members away from potentially contaminated areas—nobody wants to play in a yard of poop!
- Don’t let your pet drink out of the toilet or eat raw meat
- Keep your dog and cat on a monthly preventive such as Trifexis and AdvantageMulti—not only does this guard against heartworms, but intestinal parasites can be prevented too.
- Have your pet tested routinely and if your pet is infected, follow the recommendations of your pet’s veterinarian for treatment and follow-up testing
- Practice good personal hygiene habits and have children wash their hands after playing outside and after playing with pets
Also, visit WWW.ROCKYSHORESVET.COM for reliable and current information on various topics including intestinal parasitism.