You can’t help but notice that your pet is acting strangely or changing physically. They’ve lost weight as well as their appetite. Their coat is dull and scruffy. They might shed more than usual. Just by looking at them, you can tell something is off. They might even vomit and have diarrhea.

These are just a few of the symptoms often associated with the presence of parasites. This is a serious problem, especially when you consider that the parasites can “jump” to other cats and dogs (including kittens and puppies), even humans.

Don’t think it could happen to your pet? Well, consider this:  does your pet play in the yard, lap up stagnant water on occasion, or do they love to roll around in the dog park? If you answered yes to any of the above, think again. In fact, these are the most frequent sources of contamination. Parasites may also be transmitted from one generation to the next. They can be passed from a female to her babies through the placenta and during feedings.

A stool test performed in a lab is the most efficient method to detect gastro-intestinal parasites. To get rid of them and prevent further spread, your vet will administer a deworming, either in liquid or pill form.

Risks of contamination

As you might imagine, the main areas for contamination are your pet’s infected feces and the skin around the perineum. Puppies and kittens can also be infected through their mothers’ milk.

For humans, pay particular attention to very young babies. It’s a given that babies will put anything in their mouths. So, they could get infected that way. Pregnant woman are equally at risk and should use rubber gloves when manipulating the cat’s litter.

To avoid any and all contamination for your pet and your household, your vet will recommend the regular deworming of your dog or cat. Your vet will also advise you on just how regularly it should be done and what dose, depending on the age of your pet and the medication administered.

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How old is your pet in human years?