Parasites In Pets

Internal parasites are extremely common in puppies and kittens. Infected at birth from immature worms "laying in wait" in the mother's muscle tissue, almost every puppy and kitten will be carrying intestinal parasites when adopted or purchased. Even those that have been dewormed numerous times are likely to be still infected, due to constant exposure to the parasite eggs. In addition to possibly causing illness in your pet, many of these parasitic worms also pose potential health risks for you and your family, especially children. Be sure to clean up your pet's feces right away, especially puppies going outside, as many of the parasite eggs can remain in the soil for years and thereby continue to infect your pet.


Most parasite infestations are not visible to the owner. Most of these parasites are too small to see with the naked eye and usually it is only the microscopic eggs that are passed in the feces. Roundworms can be up to five inches long and are occasionally noted in the pet's feces or vomit. Tapeworm segment can appear as small white worms or dried grains of rice on the pet's feces or around the anus.

Our animal hospital has our laboratory run two tests on the stool sample at least every six months. The first (fecal parasite evaluation) dissolves the sample, centrifuges it, and extracts the portion that may contain eggs. This microscopic evaluation checks for Roundworm, Hookworms, Whipworms, Coccidia, and Giardia cysts. The second test is a Giardia Elisa Test, which is a much more sensitive test for this parasite, which is potentially transmissible to humans. Though a positive test lets us know which parasite to treat and to recheck to make sure it has been eliminated, a negative test does not guarantee that there are not any parasites. This is because worms do not produce eggs all the time, so even when worms are present a particular stool sample may not contain any eggs.

For the family's safety as well as the pet's, it is important that all dogs and cats be dewormed on a regular basis. Puppies and Kittens should be dewormed at least twice after entering their new home. After that, a monthly deworming is recommended by the Companion Animal Parasite Council. This is accomplished by the administration of a heartworm preventative such as Interceptor or Sentinel for dogs and Revolution for cats. Our veterinarian also recommends a broader spectrum deworming treatment every six months. Dogs receive Drontal Plus, and we administer Profender to out cat patients at their six-month exams.

Virginia Beach Veterinarian | Birdneck Animal Hospital
508 North Birdneck Rd Suite C
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Phone: (757) 355-5694


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Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.