Types of Intestinal Parasites in Pets Which Can Also Affect Your Family

dog and catFor most families, pets are not just animals but family members. Your pet, however, can bring some unwanted visitors into your home. Cats and dogs are particularly susceptible to infestation by intestinal parasites commonly worms.

Some of these parasites will not only affect your pets. They can also harm your family and cause various diseases. Routine visits to an animal hospital, such as Angel City Animal Hospital in Los Angeles, are essential to protect your pets and detect the early signs infestation.

Here are the common parasites that can affect your pets and your family (Yikes!).

Hookworms

These are small worms that fasten to the walls of your pet’s small intestines and suck blood. They are common parasites in cats and dogs. Your pets can catch hookworms through ingesting their eggs from contaminated food, from their mother’s milk or through transmission in utero.

Signs of infestation include loss of appetite, tiredness, blood in feces, and diarrhea. Hookworms sometimes drift to the lungs and cause a cough, fever and pneumonia-like symptoms.

Roundworms

Most kittens and puppies contract roundworms from their mothers in utero. Roundworms can also be transmitted in the breast milk and from contaminated foods and feces. Symptoms of infestation include diarrhea, a pot-bellied look and poor development in young pets.

Tapeworms

Pets contract these intestinal parasites through ingestion of contaminated food as well. Vets can detect the parasite in your pet’s stool or on the fur of their tail. Symptoms of tapeworm infestation are difficult to detect but include weight loss, a distended abdomen, and itchiness around the animal’s anus.

Whipworms

This type of parasite sheds fewer eggs in feces compared with other intestinal parasites and can, therefore, be hard to detect in stool samples. Common symptoms of whipworm infestation include diarrhea, mucus-coated feces, and never-ending weight loss.

Regular hand washing before handling pet food and after contact with your pets and regular deworming are some ways in which you can protect your family and pets from parasite infestation.