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Intestinal Parasites Common in Pets


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Intestinal parasites are one of the top killers of our pets, especially puppies and kittens. Everyone has heard of roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, but there are three other common intestinal parasites that pet owners should know will affect their pet's health. They are coccidia, whipworms, and giardia. Symptoms of these parasites can be quite similar including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and anemia. Most of these parasites are spread via contact with the same ground that has been previously defecated on, but there are some exceptions. But let's look at the most common parasites that affect pet's health.

The most common parasite that affects pet's health is roundworms. Roundworms affect both dogs and cats. This is usually a parasite that affects the young, sick, and animals under stress. It is easily found in the environment pretty much anywhere. It is spread to the environment via fecal matter and can resist the hot sun and freezing temperatures for well over a year. Many people say that these worms look like spaghetti in our pet's stools. It is the only parasite than can infect puppies and kittens before birth through the placenta. Generally, this is a small parasite that causes most of its damage by blocking up the intestinal tract leading to vomiting. They can be easily confused with tapeworms. Animals contract tapeworms through ingesting an infected flea. Flea larvae feast on the tapeworm eggs lying dormant in the ground. Once the flea ingests the egg, it is infected. If you pet has infected fleas, chances are very good that he will develop tapeworms. While tapeworms can infect humans, one must swallow an infected flea to be infected. By simply using flea control on your animal, you can keep this parasite at bay.

Hookworms also affect both cats and dogs, so hookworms are vicious when it comes to your pet's health. These worms are very similar to roundworms but they attach to the intestinal wall and suck blood from their hosts. This worm can survive for over three years in the ground and even longer in your pet. This parasite is generally too small to see in the feces. Death can easily occur as the infestation worsens. Hookworms and Roundworms can be spread to humans to, and unfortunately, they tend to affect children the most often. The parasite can enter the body via the skin, usually in the hands and bare feet. These parasites tend to cause skin lesions where they enter and can also affect internal organs, and have also been found to infect children's eyes, causing blindness.

If you see any evidence of parasites in your pet's stool, it is best to get them to the vet to have a complete diagnosis of your pet's health. Parasites are not a laughing matter, and they simply will not go away on their own. You will need medication to kill the parasites. Not only will they affect you pet's health, but these two types can affect yours as well. So be diligent in getting your pet dewormed and tested whenever they visit the vet.

Gary Pearson is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

To learn more about pet health visit Pet Knowledge Online for current articles and discussions.


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