Both cats and dogs are susceptible to infections by internal and external parasites. Unfortunately, some of these parasites are zoonotic (possess the ability to infect people as well as animals). For this reason, prevention of intestinal parasites is important for the health of the entire family. Most intestinal parasites are not visible in feces or by the naked eye. Your veterinary team is able to screen for infection by obtaining and then processing a small sample of feces and performing a microscopic analysis.
In addition to intestinal parasite screening, periodic deworming and parasite prevention medications are likely to be recommended and/or administered. Symptoms of intestinal parasite infection can include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and poor overall body condition. Because of the risk to pets and humans, it is important to perform intestinal parasite screenings and include monthly preventatives in the routine care of family pets.