You Asked: Why Do Young Animals Typically Have Parasites?
Puppies can be born already infected with roundworms as the parasite can pass from the mother’s tissue across the placenta to the developing puppies. Puppies can acquire hookworms from infected mothers during nursing. In addition, puppies or kittens may contract intestinal parasites from a contaminated environment before they have been started on routine parasite prevention. They are more vulnerable to the effects of parasites, so testing and treatment is especially important.
A new puppy visits the vet every three to four weeks during the first four to five months of puppy-hood. During this time, the puppy receives all of the recommended vaccines, plus two to three comprehensive fecal tests. The fecal test is a laboratory test that checks for intestinal parasites, such as roundworms that can be transferred to developing puppies or hookworms that are transferred through nursing. Friendship Hospital for Animals offers Puppy Wellness Plans that cover all of the basic needs for the first year of puppy-hood, such as wellness exams, vaccinations, intestinal parasite screening, deworming, and more! Check with your primary care veterinarian to discuss Friendship’s Puppy Wellness Plans.
Dr. Schultz graduated from Cornell University in 1997 and joined Friendship in 2004. Dr. Schultz enjoys helping people and their pets in a direct way. Her professional interests include emergency medicine and general practice.
*Featured image courtesy of Friendship Hospital for Animals.