My pet has worms?!

Does your pet have parasites? Is it showing any signs of parasites? If it does have parasites how would you know? Can they spread to you or your children? If you haven’t asked these questions you may want too. Cornel University parasitologists estimate the prevalence of parasites in our pets to be as high as 45% and even higher in young puppies & kittens. With severe infections you may see pet with vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, dull hair coat, coughing, bloody feces with mucus, and dehydration.Small infections may only cause an increased susceptibility to infections and diseases and are unlikely to be noticed by any owner.

Pets can have many types of parasites both internal (live in the intestines), these may range from a large tape worm to a single celled coccidian, and external parasites (like mites, fleas, ticks). Cats that live outdoors or with several other cats are more likely to have parasites, but just because you only have one cat (or dog) and it lives inside does not mean that it will not have parasites.

Good parasite control is the key to a healthier pett and prevention of human infection. Regular deworming and daily removal of feces; avoiding overcrowded conditions, avoiding raw meat diets, and controlling intermediate hosts (another critter that the parasite can live and mature in) like fleas, ticks, and rodents, will help control and prevent infection and the spread of parasites. Different type of parasites need different types of medicine to kill them so you should consult your veterinarian for the best control measures for your pet.

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