Intestinal/internal parasites, or worms, are small organisms that could be living in your pet's stomach, intestines, and other internal organs. Even though they're not easily seen with the naked eye, they can pose a threat to your pet and family's health. Deworming helps reduce the risk of parasite infections for you and your pet.
Are worms common in pets?
For over 10 years, we've conducted an in-house study to track the number of clinically “healthy” pets that tested positive for intestinal parasites. In 2016, based on all the stool tests submitted to our laboratory, 5.1% tested positive for intestinal parasites (worms). Common results included parasites such as giardia, roundworm, and coccidiosis. We were able to detect cases of Baylisascaris procyonis, a raccoon roundworm transmissible to pets with very high zoonotic potential to humans, and even Aelurostrongylus, a cat lungworm. Despite this, our practice has made great strides toward decreasing pets' infection rates.
Which pets need deworming?
Routine deworming for all puppies and kittens is advised and overseen by the governing bodies of both the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP), who routinely assess our high standards of veterinary care. All outdoor cats should be dewormed 4 times per year (once every 3 months), especially if they hunt or have regular contact with other animals. All pets provide a stool sample for annual fecal testing to diagnose parasitic infections. One of the most important components of deworming is ensuring your pet has a parasite protection plan, especially during the peak months of May through November, when they are the most susceptible to infections.
Does my pet need deworming if I don't suspect internal parasites?
Based on our ongoing study, almost 7% of family pets are testing positive for one or more parasites. These include pets living in our Etobicoke community, like dogs that walk in your neighbourhood or other cats that roam into your yard to use your flower beds as a litter boxes. Remember that many parasites can affect humans too. Since our pets are our family, we all need to do our part to keep them safe – and ourselves too. With this in mind, deworming protects your pet, even if you don't suspect a parasite infection. To book an appointment to deworm your pet, please contact us at (416) 231-9293.