Parasite Screening and Prevention
Dogs and cats are likely to become infected with parasites at some point in their lives. If left undetected and untreated, they will affect a pet's well-being - from simply being irritating to causing a variety of life-threatening conditions. Some parasites can even infect and transmit disease to humans, with children being an especially vulnerable target! Parasites don't discriminate; both indoor and outdoor pets are at risk.
When it comes to a parasitic illness, it's always better to prevent than to treat. That's why ABE Veterinary Hospital recommends annual testing for intestinal parasites as well as heartworm and tick-borne diseases.
For up to date info on parasites in your area, visit: http://www.capcvet.org/
Intestinal parasite testing
A common mistake is for a client to think that if their pet has normal feces and if no worms are seen, then there are no parasites; however microscopic analysis of your pet's feces is necessary for an acurate determination. It is for this reason that we ask for a stool sample at your pet's annual (or semi-annual) visit. Early detection of parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and giardia is vital to successful treatment. Some of the symptoms of parasitic illness include: diarrhea, decreased appetite, poor hair coat, vomiting and weight loss or "pot belly"/ The presence of these symptoms is neither a confirmation nor indication of a parasitic infection. The only way diagnosis can be made is through IPT, and at that point an appropriate treatment or preventive program can be prescribed.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (link above) recommends the following IPT schedule:
*Puppies and Kittens: 2-4 times a year
*Adult Dogs and Cats (Not Taking Broad Spectrum Heartworm Preventative Medication): 2-4 times a year
*Adult Dogs and Cats (Taking Broad Spectrum Heartworm Preventative Medication): 1-2 times/year