Parasites

Close up image of parasites.

There are many types of parasites that are found in the GI tract of cats and dogs. Worms such as roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms are very common in almost all parts of the world. These parasites shed their infective eggs in the pet's stool and contaminate the environment; some eggs can live on yards or fields for years. The eggs are ingested by the pet and the life cycle is completed when the worm grow into an adult in the intestine of a new host.

Tapeworms are another very common intestinal parasite of dogs and cats. This parasite is different though, in that it requires transmission through an intermediate host, most commonly a flea. Other intermediate hosts can be mice, rats, or rabbits. The dog or cat eats the intermediate host containing the tapeworm egg, and the tapeworm completes its life cycle to develop into an adult in the intestine of the dog or cat. The intermediate host is required, if a pet eats an adult tapeworm or tapeworm segment, it will not cause tapeworms to grow in its intestine.

Other parasites can live in the intestine that are not worms such as one-celled organisms called protozoa, which are also prevalent parasites among pets. Giardia and coccidia are protozoa that can be transmitted directly from animals to your pet, or your pet can be exposed from contaminated water. Diagnosis of these parasites requires your veterinarian or their laboratory finding either the microscopic parasite or its egg in the stool.

The only parasites that can be seen in the stool with the naked eye are roundworms and tapeworms. Roundworms are ivory colored, round (not flat) in shape, and about 4 to 6 inches long. Tapeworms are ivory colored and flat in shape. The adult tapeworm is several feet long, but usually you see only tapeworm segments that look like either sesame seeds or rice. Your pet could have either of these worms without the adult parasites ever being shed into the stool. If your pet's stool looks normal, don't think your pet can't be infected. There is no one drug that can kill all types of intestinal parasites that exist. Your veterinarian needs to know what kind of parasite(s) infection is involved, so a correct drug can be prescribed. Also, some of the monthly heartworm preventatives will also treat roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.

If you suspect that your pet may be affected, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian today for direction on what to do! Your veterinarian will also be able to answer all your questions and help you prevent your pets from getting parasites in the first place.

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Broad River Animal Hospital

Our Regular Schedule

Office Hours

Monday:

7:30 am-7:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am-7:00 pm

Friday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

For Appointments

Monday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "You all are the best! Thank you!"
    Julie F.
  • "We have been going to Broad River Animal Hospital for 20+ years with our Golden's and cat who passed and most recently in the past five years with our rescue Buddy. The staff is always caring and we trust their guidance implicitly."
    Carol O.
  • "My dogs are important to me, so I take them to the best vet! They are professional, knowledgeable, pleasant, helpful, and really like the animals. I have been going here for about 35 years."
    Martha D.
  • ""I've been taking my babies to you since 2007 and everyone knows my little ones. Dr. Stramaglia has diagnosed + saved the lives of 2 of them. All the vets are super and caring as are the front personnel + vet techs. I've even had home visits.""
    Desire H.
  • ""The best veterinary care in the country - Dr. Lamothe always has the best interest of my dog in mind, goes above and beyond to make sure my dog is well taken care of and thoughtfully answers all of my questions.""
    Jennifer W.
  • ""I am a client of many years. Everyone from the front desk staff, to the techs, to every doctor. Broad River is comprised of consistently pleasant, knowledgeable, gentle and compassionate people who provide the utmost in professionalism and care.""
    Colleen P.
  • "I've been coming for 33 years I think that speaks for Itself."
    Arthur S.
  • "Very satisfied. Very thoughtful, nice people."
    Cornelia F.
  • "5 stars all the way! When I first started taking my dog here, he used to shake a lot, now he perks up and loves visiting (despite that sometimes he's poked at :)"
    Effie T.