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The Importance of a Parasite Exam-Testing the “poop”

The Importance of a Parasite Exam-Testing the “poop”

by Dr. Carla Case-... on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 8:19am


The Importance of a Parasite Exam-Testing the “poop”


By Lisa A. Yackel, CVPM, PHR


Hospital Administrator




We have our clients pretty well trained.  At almost every visit, they bring us a present-a small sample of their pet’s “poop”.  They actually say; “we have a present for you”.  Quite honestly, we would rather have donuts, etc but we are glad they understand the importance of bringing in this nugget to help us help their pet.


Recently, at one of our continuing education staff meetings, we were reminded how important checking for parasites is.  We recommend testing twice a year when a pet comes in and often clients are a little taken aback by the frequency.  The intestinal parasite diagnostic test run however is not only important for your pet but also for your family. In fact, it is the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control & Preventatives (CDC)).  This is especially true if you have young children or seniors in your household as they are the most vulnerable.  Amazingly considering all the preventatives out there, we still have 14% of the US population that is infected with Toxocara.  This roundworm imbeds in the eye and is the second leading cause of blindness in children. 


At Case Veterinary Hospital, we pride ourselves on our client compliance and would like to think that most of our patients are on a preventative heartworm prevention that also protects against intestinal parasites.  With our twice yearly (or at least, once yearly) parasite testings, we were feeling pretty confident that worms were not a problem for our patients.  Our lab stats proved otherwise.  Over 12% of our patients have hookworms, roundworms, or another parasite.  Over 25% have giardia, a protozoa that is often spread through contaminated water and feces.


That little “present” that clients bring to us allows us to give them peace of mind that they are not endangering their family or their pet with a zoonotic disease.  It allows the pet to have a more comfortable visit with us as they do not have to “produce” a sample for us.  We know it is not the most fun thing for our clients to do but we just want to say thank you for allowing us to help keep your pet parasite free and keep your family safe.   Keep those gifts coming!




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