Worms are for the birds!

Intestinal Parasites are gross! 1 in every 10 dogs in North Carolina tests positive for an intestinal parasite each year. These parasites can cause your pet to have diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, just to name a few... So what do you do and how can we help?

Due to the prevalence of intestinal parasites in our community and throughout the state, we now require all dogs utilizing our Daycare, Boarding or Grooming be on a monthly broad spectrum parasite prevention that includes intestinal parasite deworming. If your dog is on a monthly heartworm prevention(like Heartgard Plus, Sentinel, Trifexis or Advantage Multi) then you are already meeting this requirement. If not, then we are we are giving until February 1, 2018 to become compliant. This requirement, along with annual testing, our sanitation regimen and home environment upkeep, will help significantly reduce your pet's chances of becoming ill from internal parasites.

We recommend annual intestinal parasite testing and monthly parasite control. Most commonly prescribed heartworm preventives actually contain intestinal parasite control to prevent infection. Not all products are created equal, so it is important to discuss your pet's environment with the veterinarian so that an appropriate preventive can be prescribed.

Be sure to scoop your yard. If your pet has intestinal parasites, they can spread them to other animals, and even to people, so make sure to keep your pet's waste picked up.

If your pet has diarrhea, blood in the stool, vomiting or other concerning symptoms, have them checked by the veterinarian. Keep in mind, some animals can have intestinal parasites and not show any signs of illness, which is why monthly prevention and annual testing are so important.

Play time, boarding and leaving your pet for veterinary care are necessary conveniences and beneficial for pet socialization but it increases a pet's potential exposure to parasites. To reduce the chance of exposure to dogs who visit Atlantic Animal Hospital, we have the following requirements for staying at our office.

- Dogs must have annual intestinal parasite exams including testing for giardia

- If a puppy (less than 1 year of age) tests positive for a parasite they must have 2 consecutive negative intestinal parasite exams before returning to Doggie Daycare, Dayboarding, or Boarding and be on a monthly broad spectrum parasite preventive.

- If an adult dog tests positive for a parasite they require 1 negative exam, after testing positive, and must be on a monthly broad spectrum parasite preventive. Proof will be required.

For more information on intestinal parasites and how they can affect you, check out the Companion Animal Parasite Council at https://www.capcvet.org/

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