Parasites… Ick!

Ahhh, spring has arrived. When I think of spring, I think of crocuses popping their heads through the last bit of snow, daffodils as the snow melts away & budding trees once the snow is gone for good. Unfortunately, it’s also the beginning of PARASITE season. Many of us have likely seen a flea or perhaps even a tick as they expand into our area, but how many have seen heartworm or intestinal parasites? As we begin our Ontario spring, let’s be sure not to forget about the very real risks of these seemingly INVISIBLE PARASITES.

Here at Aylmer Veterinary Clinic, we saw 5 positive heartworm & 27 positive Lyme cases last year, all of which were detected through routine blood testing. We have even seen clusters of positive dogs within a small region – not the kind of community sharing we like to see!

Intestinal parasites are often detected on a routine fecal (poop) test – a relatively inexpensive test with results usually within a day. It is far better to pick up on positives through routine testing as opposed to when your pet vomits worms or has bloody diarrhea from a heavy burden (which can be more challenging to get rid of)! While prevention is so important, routine testing is equally important as it can even detect parasites that require a different medication for treatment (giardiasis, coccidiosis). We recommend annual testing at the very least, but seasonally for our active explorers. Some intestinal parasites are even zoonotic.

Some intestinal parasites are even zoonotic, which means transmissible from pets to humansCheck out this link to learn more about zoonosis.

Written by Angela Noble, RVT & Practice Manager