When was your pet’s last fecal parasite screening? Did you know that some intestinal parasites that are spread through our pet’s fecal waste can pose as health risk to humans? While intestinal parasites can cause illness in our pets, in many cases pets can be infected and spreading the parasite with no outward sign of an illness. Most all fecal parasites, with the exception of tapeworms, are not visible with the naked eye and require specialized testing to be identified. Because of this, you should always immediately pick up after your pet and dispose of fecal waste properly. Worms produce microscopic eggs that are passed in an animal’s feces. Once in the environment, some of these eggs can remain infective and pose a health risk for your pet and humans for years.
- *All puppies and kittens be fecal tested before 12 weeks of age
- *All new pets adopted should be tested within the first two weeks of adoption.
- *All animals should be tested yearly for fecal parasites
- *Pick up feces immediately whenever walking a dog in a public area; remove feces from the backyard environment regularly.
- *Cover sandboxes when not in use and protect garden areas from fecal contamination
- *Some of the parasites that may infect your pet include coccidian, giardia, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, toxoplasmosis, and whipworms. Of these, roundworms are the most likely to be transmitted to humans. When humans accidently ingest infective worm eggs, they hatch in the human’s intestinal tract and the immature worms can travel to body tissues including the eyes and brain, potentially causing serious infections.
For more information on parasite control guidelines, please visit www.petsandparasites.org. Our pets are valuable members of our family who give us great love and joy. Taking these simple steps can help keep both pets and people healthy.