Intestinal parasites present a very real threat to our beloved pets. While most parasites are transmitted through the environment, some may even appear before birth when the pet is still in the womb. Certain types of these insidious creatures can also be health hazards to humans. It's important to be aware of parasites, how they operate and the symptoms they create. Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital is a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital serving the Waipahu area with 43 years of experience providing compassionate, quality animal care, and they provide valuable insight into parasite prevention and treatment.
Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital's staff veterinarian Dr. Aya S. Achiu, D.V.M., shares some information about the six most common pet parasites:
- Roundworms And Hookworms: Transmitted either through the environment or from mother to offspring, roundworms and hookworms attack a pet's intestines by consuming the nutrients your pet needs to stay healthy. Dr. Achiu reminds us that, in many cases, there are no symptoms. If symptoms are present, milder instances will cause the growth of a small potbelly on your pet. If symptoms are more severe, a pet can be malnourished.
- Whipworms: Whipworms make contact with your pet through the environment and primarily attack full-grown dogs. Common symptoms include bloody diarrhea and colitis.
- Tapeworms: Contracted
from fleas, tapeworms are everyday parasites that feed on a pet's intestinal
lining and jeopardize pet health. They can be seen in a pet's stool or around
the anus. Dr. Achiu and her team can conduct the necessary testing for
tapeworms and all other parasites.
- Giardia: Giardia— which can also be detrimental to humans
— is another often-seen parasitic invader, though diagnosis can be tricky. Dr. Achiu and the hospital staff will conduct multiple tests to determine if your pet has this parasite. Symptoms are not always present, but when they are, chronic diarrhea is the most typical.
- Coccidiosis: Puppies that come from breeding facilities or large kennels are especially susceptible to coccidiosis. This parasite reproduces within intestinal cells and can cause unusually soft and odorous stools; in serious cases, vomiting will be persistent.
If you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms, it's important to contact Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital right away. Since many of these infections can be present without any obvious symptoms, it's also imperative that you take your pet in for annual checkups and pet services. The first step in testing for any parasite is a fecal check, which can be performed by your veterinarian.
Call Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital at (808) 671-7387 or visit their website to schedule your pet's exam. They are also available for after-hours emergencies, so you can rely on Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital for immediate care when your pet needs it most. The doctors and staff at this trusted veterinary hospital look forward to helping your pet live a long and happy life!