My name is Dr. Annelle Valentin and I have been a veterinarian at Royal York Animal Hospital for the past 10 years. This blog is one of two parts about internal parasites (worms). I chose this topic as due to my own personal experience and because I really believe that there are some misconceptions of pets at risk.
Pet Parasite Screening in Etobicoke
At Royal York Animal Hospital we are often asked by pet owners why we advise to check stool samples annually for routine parasite screening. Commonly we hear “but my dog doesn’t have diarrhea” or “he/she doesn’t ever play with other dogs”, or “my cat doesn’t go that far and just stays in our yard”. The truth is, however, that none of these factors have to be present for a dog or cat to become infected with intestinal parasites.
Deworming My Pet
As an example, my own rescue dog Molly (in photo) was adopted “fully dewormed” and she was healthy and having normal stools, however when we did a routine fecal test she tested positive for not one, not two, but THREE intestinal parasites: whipworm, hookworm AND coccidia!!! Treatment was easy and successful (thankfully), but it sheds light on the fact that if you don’t check, how would you even know?
An on-going study of RYAH patients who submit routine annual fecals for testing has revealed that on average, almost 7% of family pets are testing positive for one or more parasites. These are all pets living in your Etobicoke community including dogs that are walked in your neighbourhood and at leash free parks and other cats that may roam into your yard and use your flower beds as a litter box.
Remember that there are many parasites that can affect humans too!!! Since our pets are our family, we ALL need to do our part to keep them safe – and ourselves too.
For further information check out these sites:
Dr. Annelle Valentin