HEALTH GUIDE

Your pet and intestinal parasites

As your pet goes about its daily routine, it can come into contact with parasites. The parasites that most commonly affect our pets are roundworms, flatworms, and hookworms. Transmission happens through contact in an environment that is contaminated with parasite eggs. In other words, your animal may become infected simply by ingesting grass or dirt or even just by sniffing around. Some pets can become infected by ingesting contaminated prey when hunting and others are infected by the immature form of the parasite through flea or insect bites.

When it comes to puppies and kittens, the number of animals suffering from parasites becomes much more prevalent. The eggs of parasites are transmitted directly from mother to babies through breast milk or sometimes directly from the mother’s belly through the placenta. Because the immune system of young animals is still developing, they are more susceptible to suffer more severely from these problems. It is therefore essential to diagnose and treat cases of parasitism in dogs before, during and after pregnancy.

Parasite eggs mature within your animal and the maturation period varies depending on the type of parasite from which your animal is suffering. This means that an animal in perfect health (not showing any clinical signs of parasitism) can still be suffering from intestinal parasites.

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Protection
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PROTECT MY PET?

An annual screening is essential for all pets in order for them to be well protected against parasites. Bring your pet’s stool sample to its annual examination so that your veterinarian can set up a deworming program to suit his/her needs. Unfortunately, deworming to treat intestinal parasites has no residual effect. Treatment is effective for only a few days after its administration. Further contact with infectious parasitic elements can therefore cause the reinfection of your pet. Deworming on a regular basis may be necessary for your pet according to its level of risk.

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