One of the problems our vets in Tampa have been seeing more and more of recently is intestinal parasites. Living in such a warm climate, this problem really never goes away and with the warmer winters we have been having, we need to be even more careful about protecting our pets against these creatures. The good news is there are many safe, easy preventatives that will help with this chore.
When we discuss intestinal parasites and dogs and cats, the conversation includes hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms. Most of these are only detectable with a fecal flotation examination and should be a part of your pet’s yearly examination. This includes our feline patients as well, especially if they spend any time outside. Over the past few months, we have been seeing an up tick in cases of hookworms and roundworms. Presumably due to our warmer, wetter than usual weather. Luckily, many of these cases are not causing clinical symptoms in your pets at the time of diagnosis but if left untreated can lead to serious issues. Also, some of these (primarily hookworms) can be transmitted to humans and cause some serious symptoms. (Yet another reason to keep your yard picked up and your pets on monthly preventatives.)
Tapeworms are generally diagnosed by pet owners seeing little pieces of wiggly rice on their pet’s feces or around their rectums. Nothing prompts a phone call to our veterinarians in Tampa like seeing something crawling around your pet’s bed or backside. These little guys are actually transmitted by eating fleas so proper year round flea control is very important with all of our pets.
Many of your monthly heartworm preventatives are also doing double duty at controlling intestinal parasites. Our Tampa veterinary clinic has many options to offer so don’t hesitate to call and ask for advice as to which one is best for your pet. By using these consistently, and following your veterinarians recommendations for yearly examinations and testing, you will be taking a big step in giving your pet a longer, healthier life. Remember that by keeping your pet’s parasites under control, you are also helping protect yourself and children from these creatures since many of them can cause problems in humans. A proactive approach to your pet is important!!