Intestinal Parasites

There are five common intestinal parasites in dogs and cats. These include hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms and coccidia. Only two of these, rounds and tapes, may be visible.

Although these five parasites are ubiquitous in all the United States, we who live in East Texas are “blessed” with higher numbers of these worms than other areas of the country.

Puppies and kittens often have one of these parasites. In fact, certain species of intestinal parasites can actually be passed from the mother to the kitten or pup through the uterus or the milk. So by the time they are adopted into their new home, they often already have parasites.

These parasites live in different parts of the intestine and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, poor hair coat, and even death. In addition, their presence can weaken the immune system to allow other diseases to affect the pet.

Here at the Rannals Small Animal Hospital, specific drugs are used to kill specific parasites. In some cases, injections are used which provide the highest rate of kill. In most cases a second worming in two to three weeks is recommended to kill any migrating immature worms that have reached adulthood.

We do NOT recommend store-bought wormers, nor do we sell general wormers. These products seldom remove more than half the parasites from the pet’s system.

We like to check both dogs and cats at the time of their yearly checkup for these parasites. Just bring us a small stool sample wrapped in aluminum foil or a sandwich bag at the time of the appointment. It will be rapidly tested by microscope and results can be known in minutes. Then, appropriate therapy may be given. And if you have acquired a new pet, have him checked for parasites soon after acquiring him.

Let us help you keep your pet healthy and parasite free. Call us at 903-839-7235 to set up an appointment.