Public health is a very important part of veterinary medicine. A Veterinarian’s concern is not only for the health and welfare of companion animals, but for their owners as well.
Did you know that many intestinal parasites which infect your pets can also affect humans?
Hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms are just a few of the companion animal parasites, which can affect people in some manner. The Center for Disease Control reports that there are an estimated 10,000 human cases of roundworm infection each year in the United States of America. Of these, more than 700 result in vision loss due to larval worm migration in the eye. Public health concerns are a key factor in the regular examination, treatment and prevention, and deworming your pets periodically, will help eliminate this public health threat, greatly.
In addition to regularly deworming your dog, veterinarians recommend that you have your pet’s stools examined at least twice each year.
Adult gastrointestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms and whipworms are usually not shed in stools, making identification of a worm problem difficult. The eggs, however, are present, but are too small to be detected by the naked eye.
*Most Veterinary Parasitologists have made the following recommendation for deworming dogs:
Every 2 weeks until 3 months of age once a month from 3 to 6 months of age. After 6 months, follow adult recommendations.
Treat regularly (eg. four times a year), considering potential exposure to parasites and prepatent periods (time from when parasite enters the body to the appearance of eggs in the stool).
Once prior to mating, once prior to whelping. Lactating bitches should be treated at the same time as the puppies.
Newly acquired animals
Immediately, thereafter, repeat after 2 weeks following the guidelines above.
*Keep yourself informed regarding the type and prevalance of parasites in your area. Your pet’s specific needs are known best by your veterinarian.
Different Routes of Infection
Larval stage or intermediate hosts are ingested by swallowing contaminated soil or vegetation
Infected stages penetrate through the skin
Transplacental or prenatal
Foetus acquires infection from mother through placenta
Symptoms of heavy worm infestation
The dog becomes weak and emaciated. Anemia is observed in case of heavy hookworm load. The dog may drag itself on the ground, in the anal region, due to irritation caused by the segments or eggs of the helminths in the faeces.
In pups and kittins, a pot bellied condition can be seen. An overall loss in body and coat condition is evident in most affected cases.