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There is a wide variety of internal parasites that dogs and cats can come into contact with on a routine basis. To learn more about these parasites click on the links below.
Coccidia are intestinal parasites that most commonly affect younger animals but can also affect adult dogs and cats. There are several species of this tiny, single celled parasite but the most common is Isospora canis. Anywhere between 3 - 38% of dogs and 3 - 36% of cats in North America have coccidial infections.
Giardia are common intestinal parasites that can affect both humans and animals. Contaminated water from lakes, ponds and streams is the most common way pets and humans come into contact with Giardia. A well chlorinated swimming pool is not usually a reservoir.
Heartworm Disease, caused by the parasite Dirofilaria immitis, is a serious and even life threatening disease that is seen in all 50 states. Dogs are the preferred host of heartworms, however cats are susceptible to heartworms as well. Heartworms are transmitted from one dog to another through mosquito bites.
Another common intestinal parasite is the Hookworm. The two most common species of this parasite that affect dogs are Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala while the most common species to affect cats is Ancylostoma tubaeforme.
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite of dogs and cats. Dogs and cats can come into contact with roundworms in two different ways. They can consume fecal material and soil that is contaminated with roundworm eggs or the immature larval worms. However, more often puppies and kittens become infected before their mother gives birth to them or while they are nursing.
Have you ever noticed what looks like rice on your pets fur around the rectum or on their fresh stool? Chances are that they have tapeworms and also fleas (more on this later). Tapeworms received their names because the segments and the body are very flat and look like a piece of tape.
Whipworms, Trichuris vulpis, are an internal parasite that most commonly affect dogs but can occasionally affect cats especially in more tropical areas for the world. Whipworms are named after the characteristic whip shape appearance that they have.