As a pet parent, you always want your pet to be happy and healthy. It must alarm you, then, that many parasites are eager to get into your pet’s body. Parasites are not just a nuisance; they can cause severe and fatal illnesses. Parasite prevention and regular screening are vital for your pet’s well-being.
It is essential to know that all pets are susceptible to intestinal parasites, even those that spend more time indoors. Any time your pet goes outdoors, even for brief periods, they can come into contact with parasites.
If your pets lick their feet after being outdoors or are constantly eating soil, plants, or mud, they can get parasites. There are parasites around the home all year, and even soil from indoor plants can harbor parasites. An annual fecal exam can help screen for intestinal parasites. Humans can contract some of the parasites.
Scheduling an annual physical examination is a vital part of ensuring your pet’s well-being. During the exam, you will need to bring a stool sample. Analyzing the stool can help detect common parasites.
A fecal analysis will look for intestinal parasites or worms such as tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Large worms often live in the intestines; while they may not be seen in the stool, fetal analysis can detect their eggs. The analysis can also detect microscopic organisms.
A wellness exam can determine if your pet has potential health issues. Early detection is vital for effective treatment. Pet diagnostics can test for parasites. It involves adding a special liquid solution to the stool sample, causing parasite eggs to float.
The eggs are separated using a centrifuge machine, collected, and examined under a microscope. Their appearance will help determine the type of parasite your pet has. The number of eggs present can indicate the severity of the potential infection.
Heartworm infection occurs when a larvae-carrying mosquito bites a pet. After the mosquito bites the animal, larvae get into the bloodstream and grow and develop into adult worms.
The worms, which can grow to 12 inches, live in the heart and lung arteries, causing organ failure. An annual heartworm screening can help determine if your pet is infected. Testing involves a blood sample, with the results usually available in minutes.
Adult dogs usually require less frequent testing than puppies due to their fully formed immune systems. Heartworm-preventative medications usually contain agents that can help control parasitic infections.
However, it is still essential to get regular testing, as some worms remain unaffected by the ingredients in the dewormers. Your vet will recommend the best screening schedule for your pet. Parasite testing is essential to determining the type of parasite affecting your pet. Screening blood tests can help detect diseases before they manifest.
For more on parasite testing for pets in Arizona—the different types of tests—visit Mile Hi Animal Hospital at our Prescott, Arizona, office. Call (928) 445-4581 to schedule an appointment today.