Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

May Newsletter

You want me to bring in poop?

Your first thought maybe “Gross!” or “Why??” The truth is that we use your pet’s feces to look for parasite ova or eggs. Many people believe that if adult worms aren’t visible in the poop, the pet doesn’t have worms, but that isn’t always the case. Adult worms live IN the intestines; they don’t come out very often. Many times the only way we can diagnose a worm burden is by finding the eggs with a microscope after a special flotation procedure. Research has found that approximately 1/3 of dogs are infected with parasites! This is important because not only do these gut-dwellers affect our family pets, they can also be harmful to people.

To get optimal results from a fecal flotation, start with a quality sample. The sample should be fresh within 24 hours. The sample should be refrigerated if you cannot bring it in right away.

There are four main types of internal parasites that we are concerned about in feces. Each month we will focus on one type of parasite. This month we will discuss Roundworms.


Your pet can become infected with roundworms from the environment with normal grooming, from an infected mother, or by consuming an animal, typically a rodent, that is carrying developing worms.

Roundworms can cause vomiting or diarrhea in your pet, especially young pets. These parasites can cause your pet to have an unthrifty haircoat, a pot-bellied appearance, and more heavy infections can lead to pneumonia. The most common Roundworm species in cats is called Toxocara cati. The dog roundworm is called Toxocara canis. Take home message: Roundworms can infect people. In some cases a roundworm larva can travel out of the intestines and cause damage in other organs (this is called Visceral Larval Migrans). If the migration leads in the eye tissue (surrounding nerves or in the chamber of the eye), this can lead to permanent nerve damage or blindness. This most commonly affects small children. Because roundworms can affect people, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends monthly deworming of dogs. This can be done with a monthly heartworm preventative (like Heartgard or Sentinel), which is also kills intestinal parasites.

Check in with us next month for information about hookworms!