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Parasite Prevention

Parasite Prevention not only protects your pet, but it also protects your family.

Roundworm, whipworm and hookworm are all 100 percent preventable. These intestinal parasites that pets and wildlife may be harboring can be shed in their feces at parks, playgrounds and sandboxes. The microscopic eggs of these intestinal parasites are often unknowingly ingested by children as they play.

The Center for Disease Control recommends a schedule of multiple dewormings to reduce the chance of infection. It is important to have your pet’s feces examined yearly by a licensed veterinarian to ensure your pet is not harboring parasites. Many of the parasites do not cause your pet to become symptomatic until long after an infection has taken place.

How do roundworms harm people?

Roundworms enter the body when ingested as eggs that soon hatch into larvae. These larvae travel through the liver, lungs, and other organs. In most cases, these “wandering worms” cause no symptoms or apparent damage. However, in some cases the produce a condition known as visceral larva migrans. The larvae may cause damage to tissue and sometimes affect the nerves or even lodge in the eye. In some cases, they may cause permanent nerve or eye damage, even blindness.

How do hookworms harm people?

Hookworms larvae typically move about within the skin, causing inflammation in the affected skin. This is called cutaneous (skin) larvae mirgans. One type of hookworm can penetrate into deeper tissues and cause more serious damage to the intestine and other organs.

Take steps to prevent infection.

  • Have puppies and kittens dewormed by your vet an early age.
  • Start or keep your pets on a preventive drug program that treats and controls these worms.
  • Learn to recognize and avoid possibly contaminated soil, sand, plants, and other objects. Teach children to do the same.
  • Keep play areas, lawns, and gardens, around your home free of animal waste.
  • Bag and dispose of pet feces.
  • Cover sandboxes when not in use.
  • Obey leash laws.