blabsforbullies wrote:Ok, here is my scoop on the poop...
Depending on the area you live in, many, many parasites/parasite eggs or cysts are living in the soil, as well as other dog's feces. The way that most parasites are transmitted is by fecal-oral contamination. In other words, they have to ingest contaminated feces or soil in order to get the parasite. So, in very dry climates, this is less of an issue because heat will kill the eggs/cysts in most cases.
Checking fecal samples involves looking for the eggs/cysts under a microscope (you rarely see a worm in the stool unless you have a very high worm burden/count) . Most parasites shed eggs/cysts every 2-3 weeks, so it is entirely possible to miss seeing an egg/cyst simply based on the timing of the test. As a consequence, many people will prophylactically deworm just to be safe (and although many of the heartworm preventatives help control parasites, they do not cover all of them and may not be able to clear an infection if it is a strong one).
Why, do you ask, are people concerned about parasites? Well, obviously it can be a health concern for your pet. It can cause many different problems, depending on the parasite we are talking about. But, also important to note, many of the parasites can be transmitted to people. It is especially a problem for the young, the old, and the immunocompromised. Plus it is just gross... ha ha ha....
I hope that helps.
BullyLady wrote:So, Dr. Blabs, would you say that if your dog has no known worm problem (no symptoms, not visible in stools, etc...) that the dewormers contained in most heartworm medication is sufficient for the average dog?
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