Intestinal Parasites: What’s Lurking In Your Yard?

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There are three common intestinal parasites that not only infect your dog or cat, but can also infect you and your family. Those parasites are roundworms, hookworms and giardia and they are found in sandboxes, soil, grass, and water. The parasites are released through an animal’s feces and the eggs can live in the environment for months. Transmission occurs by ingesting the worm egg, drinking contaminated water, or penetration of the skin by larvae.

In our pets, infection with these parasites can cause allergic reactions, blood loss and anemia, digestive problems, and damage to internal organs. People infected with these same parasites may experience digestive problems, liver and lung damage, partial or total blindness, and itching skin lesions. Early detection of intestinal parasites is the first step in control and protection.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends the following fecal test schedule:

  • Puppies and Kittens: 2-4 times a year
  • Adult pets not taking a broad-spectrum heartworm preventative: 2-4 times a year
    Adult pets taking a broad-spectrum heartworm preventative: 1-2 times a year

Some action to protect your pet and family include:

  • All year us of a broad-spectrum heartworm preventative
  • Remove pet feces from your yard as often as possible
  • Keep sandboxes covered when not in use
  • Wash hands after working in the soil or playing with pets
  • Teach children not to eat dirt

By following these simple tasks, we and our pets can safely enjoy our time spent outside!

By: Dr. Gay
Lakewood Animal Hospital
Pine Bluff Animal Hospital