Annual fecal testing is a great way to help ensure your pet is free of intestinal parasites.
While routine deworming does reduce the chances that your pet has intestinal parasites, not all parasites are covered by these products.
With more rescue animals coming into Canada, the number of zoonotic (transmittable to humans) intestinal infections such as Coccidia and Giardia are climbing neither of which is covered by your standard deworming products.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to how often pets should be dewormed; “my puppy was dewormed with the breeder at 8 weeks. She is protected against worms and fleas.” Though that deworming treatment was important, deworming is not a onetime thing. Up until your pet is twelve weeks of age they should be dewormed every 2 weeks and then monthly. We recommend monthly administration because parasite control is never 100% effective. An intestinal infection is as easily as nose contact with wildlife’s poop or eating a snail!
Did you know some animals can actually build up an immunity to certain products Crazy right? This is another reason why fecal testing is a great tool!
Your furry friend is not the only one at risk for parasites. There are many parasites that can be passed on to humans. While most can be treated with a course of antibiotics. Some can be very serious, especially to anyone who may be immunosuppressed. Some diseases reduce our immune system, so it is harder to fight off an infection. A newborn baby, diabetics, those undergoing cancer treatments are immunosuppressed. The people affected by your pet’s parasites are not just the people in your home. Anywhere your pet has a bowel movement, potentially thousands of parasitic eggs are left behind for other pets and people that come along.
Why take the risk?
Another great tool for prevention of intestinal parasites to your pet, other pets and children is to pick up feces immediately, dispose of it safely and wash your hands as well. Do your part to ensure your pet is dewormed regularly and yearly fecal testing is done. Consider it community service and peace of mind when your pet gives you those special kisses!
Written by Kaytee Blanchard, Veterinary Assistant