Many puppies and kittens are born with intestinal parasites migrating through their systems. They may be infected "in utero" via the placenta and also
while nursing through their mother's milk.
They can also pick them up from soil and feces from their mother and from other pets.
Puppies and kittens
should have a stool sample check at 4 - 6 weeks of age.
Stool samples show eggs of intestinal parasites and parasites from other systems. The adult
parasites in the gastrointestinal tract must be developed enough to produce eggs. If not, then you will not see their eggs in the stool but the pet
will still have parasites in it's system. Parasite larvae may migrate through other tissues and take months to reach the digestive tract.
recommended that all puppies and kittens be dewormed 4 times at 2 - 3 week intervals starting at 4 - 6 weeks.
The most common intestinal parasites of
puppies and kittens are hookworms and roundworms.
Hookworms suck blood and can cause a fatal anemia in puppies. Both parasites can cause disease in
people. Roundworms can be transmitted to children and cause serious health problems. Hookworms can cause a dermatitis. Both are picked up from soil
contaminated with pet feces. All are common parasites in soil in warm climates.