There are a number of parasites that can potentially colonise your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, and some of them are transmissible to humans too.

Giardia, Coccidia, Roundworm, Hookworm, Tapeworm and Whipworm are the most common parasites we see in domestic pets and are usually acquired by eating another animal’s poo or by drinking from faecal-contaminated water.

dog-drinking-muddy-puddle

Diarrhoea is one of the most common symptoms associated with most of these parasites, but other symptoms can include increased appetite, weight loss, poor coat quality and licking/itching of the anal area.  Scooting of the bottom can occur with tapeworm infestation, but is more often a sign of anal gland impaction and your dog needs to be checked for this.

dog-scooting-in-grass

Sometimes diarrhoea will come and go and without testing a faecal sample for parasites the cause will be missed.

Rather than treating your pet preventatively with worming products year-round (which don’t actually treat all of these parasites), we recommend testing their stool twice yearly, or anytime your pet develops diarrhoea that persists or become recurrent.  An in-house faecal float can test for roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm and coccidia, but to detect Giardia a different test needs to be run.  The regular deworming products used for intestinal worms do NOT treat coccidia or giardia.

Long-standing parasite infections can eventually cause debilitating disease, including life-threatening haemorrhagic diarrhoea, leaky gut syndromes, and food allergies.  Biannual testing together with testing anytime your pet has symptoms suggestive of a parasite burden is a much more targeted approach then just giving them a chemical product on a routine basis.

To perform these tests we require a fresh faecal sample and we can provide a container for this purpose.

If you have young children in the house who are less aware of hand-washing hygiene practices, we recommend using a regular deworming product to prevent the possibility of transmission of roundworm or hookworm to your kids.  Twice yearly faecal tests are still recommended to check for the parasites that these products don’t treat.