The Truth about Human Parasites — Flea Free Organically

The Truth about Human Parasites

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at 9:45 AM
Posted by Dr. Syed Kashif Shahid
Almost everyone has parasites. It’s simply a fact of life. Even Dr. Oz, the now famous Oprah Winfrey guest says…”ninety percent of humans will have a problem with parasites in their lifetime.” Parasites are not just something that other people get – a malady reserved for citizens of developing countries. Everywhere we go, during just about everything we do, North Americans are vulnerable to parasitic infestation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies parasites as among the six most dangerous diseases that infect humans. Parasites outrank cancer as the number one global killer, and account for many of the digestive woes from which people suffer.
Why Are Parasites So Prevalent ?
Your intestines provide the perfect breeding ground for parasites, who enjoy making their homes nestled within impacted waste as well as in the linings of colon walls. Living inside our intestines, these microorganisms gain the upper hand by virtue of their sheer numbers – both in kind and in population. They thrive because of the unique ways in which they have adapted their life cycles in order to ensure the perpetuation of their species within their unsuspecting hosts: us.
The three major groups of parasites include protozoans (single-celled organisms), nematodes (roundworms), and cestodes (tapeworms). There are numerous parasites common to North America ranging from microscopic protozoans and Cyclospora cayetanensis – sometimes called the yuppie disease because of outbreaks in the United States resulting from fecally-contaminated imported raspberries – to macroscopic multi-cellular worms and nematodes such as hookworm, pinworm, and whipworm.
Parasites Often Elude Diagnostic Testing
Parasites range from the stuff of late night horror shows – measuring in at several feet in length – to those that are invisible to the naked eye. And while they are fond of the colon, this is not the only place parasites can be found. Just about any part of your body is vulnerable to infestation: the lungs, liver, esophagus, brain, blood, muscles, joints, skin…and even your eyes!
There are more than a hundred different types of parasites who enjoy living out their lives inside of human beings. In the United States alone, one-third of nearly six thousand fecal specimens tested came back positive for nineteen species of intestinal parasites.4, at the Parasitology Center, Inc. (PCI) in Tempe, Arizona.
Since nearly everyone needs colon cleansing, in terms of efficiency, it may be financially prudent, as well as physically advantageous, to simply start with a colon cleanse in order to combat and prevent parasitic infestation. Learn More
Laboratory methods have progressed considerably in the last decade, and can provide various forms of parasitic testing supported by the CDC. Unfortunately, so far there is not one laboratory style of testing that covers all of the commonly known parasites. And while lab testing has come a long way, PCI is still the only laboratory in the United States specializing in parasitology testing.
It’s important to remember that tests aren’t conclusive unless they are positive, which could require the taking of many different specimens, at least three of each kind: blood, serum stool, and urine. Testing can become a time-consuming venture as much repetition can be required, and with so many different types of parasites, test results can be vague, inconclusive, and expensive.
Symptoms of a Parasitic Infestation
Sometimes you can be infected without having symptoms; however, there are often signs, including:
•Allergies to many different types of foods
•Anemia (low red blood count)
•Bloating/abdominal swelling
•Bloody stools
•Bouts of diarrhea and inconsistent bowel habits
•Flu-like symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and fever
•Foul-smelling stools that get worse in the afternoon and evening
•Fever
•Gas and cramping
•Itching around the anus, especially at night.
•Nausea
•Vomiting
•Weight loss with a ravenous appetite
Four Steps to Purging Parasites
Accepting the fact that parasites are nearly unavoidable, as well as recognizing the kinds of environments parasites enjoy and how they are transmitted, is the key to ridding yourself of them, and preventing further infestations.
First, it’s important to flush out your gastrointestinal (GI) system; a clean, hydrated, and toned colon goes a long way toward discouraging parasites to make their home in your intestines, as well as works to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms you are experiencing while under attack by a parasitic infestation.
Coping with parasites is best handled with a multi-pronged approach, which includes…
Step 1: Herbal Colon Cleansing
Everyone has parasites. They love life in the human colon because they thrive on human waste. So why not use common sense wisdom and clean up our colons regularly with colon cleanses and – by extension – take care of the rest of our bodies in the process?
One of the most effective ways to begin ridding yourself of parasites is with a detoxification of your entire body, starting with your colon. Colonic irrigation and herbal cleansing can help to remove parasites, mucus, and toxins that have built up in your colon.

By flushing out impacted waste, passing stool is easier, transit times are improved, the unlucky parasites will have less time to take their foothold, and there will be nothing left for them to feed on. This means your body will become an inhospitable host, reducing the likelihood of further parasitic infestation.
Numerous societies around the globe use natural alternative medicines derived mainly from plants for treatment of common ailments. Herbs have been used for thousands of years because of their proven track record for successfully purging parasites from the body. They help to increase the wave-like motion in the colon that propels waste along, while at the same time toning colon muscles.
Many herbs are more effective, and easier on the system, when used in conjunction with other herbs. A cleansing program that combines a variety of herbs in order to purge parasites from the body is preferable.
Puristat’s colon cleanse is comprised of twenty-three herbal ingredients including cascara sagrada, buckthorn bark, ginger root, cayenne pepper, psyllium husk, fennel seed, and rhubarb root – all highly effective for expelling parasites and their eggs.
These herbs also have analgesic properties that can help relieve the inflammation, constipation, nausea, abdominal cramping, bloating, flatulence, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache that often accompany an infestation.
Removing impurities also goes a long way toward helping your body absorb nutrients, enhancing energy levels, and increasing regularity…all necessary aspects of getting back on track after a parasitic infestation.
After cleansing your colon, it’s important to restore certain bacteria to prevent unhealthy bacteria from inhabiting the area. Probiotics are the good bacteria your system needs in order to restore its healthy flora.
It’s recommended you begin a cleanse with considerably less than the suggested dosage if you’re elderly. For example, one half to one tablet the first day, increasing daily until you regularly produce one to three bowel movements per day.
Step 2: Increase Your Fiber Intake
The key to managing parasitic infestation is prevention; the sooner you make dietary changes that will help to keep you cleansed and clear of waste, the less opportunity there will be for parasites to settle into the impacted waste within your colon.
Fiber helps keep your bowels regulated by increasing your transit time, which in turn keeps your colon clear of the waste build-up associated parasitic infestation.
Increase your fiber intake by eating more fiber-rich foods, and make up for low-fiber days with a high-quality fiber supplement. A dietary supplement containing psyllium is one of several excellent ways to increase fiber, and it tends to produce less gas than some high-fiber foods.
Learn about both traditional and more exotic foods that are filled with non-soluble and soluble fiber, as well as how to incorporate them into your diet. Print out our fiber chart so you’ll know exactly how many grams of fiber per serving that various foods have to offer.
Although in some countries people reportedly consume over seventy grams of fiber each day, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for fiber in the United States is twenty-five to thirty grams. An increase in fiber creates softer, bulkier stool, which moves more easily through your digestive system, flushing out parasites, mucus, and toxins on a daily basis.
The result is a cleaned and toned colon, which makes for a less hospitable place for parasites to move in, and take over. Increased fiber intake is also linked to weight loss and many other health benefits.
Step 3: Reverse Vitamin Deficiency
Parasites and vitamin deficiency go together like peanut butter and jelly. Not only can having parasites lead to a deficiency, if you’re already vitamin-deficient, you will be vulnerable to a host of health problems including parasitic infestation.
Parasites feed off human blood, extracting vital nutrients. And not only do they burrow in our intestinal walls, some parasites cause diarrhea, making it difficult for our bodies to absorb nutrients.
It is a well-documented fact that parasites cause specific vitamin deficiencies. Diphyllobothrium latum for example – commonly referred to as fish or broad tapeworm – can deplete your body of half its vitamin B12, an essential resource for the proper functioning of your central nervous system, muscle coordination, and memory.
Unfortunately, many of us are already vitamin deficient due to our Standard American Diet of processed, fake, and junk foods. Add to this the fact that modern food refining destroys and devitalizes much of the goodness in the foods we eat, and you’ve set yourself up for a potentially vicious cycle of infestation, deficiency, and re-infestation.
At some point in their lives, everyone on the planet will require extra vitamins and minerals to compensate for deficiencies; if you’ve got parasites, the time to incorporate a multi-vitamin into your daily regimen is now!
Advanced vitamin supplementation is the foundation of good health, and can work to help prevent parasitic infestations. With a strong multi-vitamin in your corner, your body will be able to recuperate from a parasitic attack, and build up its immune system to prevent future infestations.
Step 4: Know Parasite Sources
In order to avoid infestation, it is important to understand how parasites operate, and then take the necessary steps to avoid becoming an unwitting host to various parasites.
How Are Parasites Transmitted? Let Me Count the Ways…
It’s a parasite’s job to infest, and they have designed a variety of clever ways to invade their hosts – i.e. you. Some air-borne viruses, bacteria, and fungi can infect human beings if accidentally inhaled. In North America, Histoplasmosis, Valley fever, and Hanta virus are examples of parasitic diseases associated with bat dung (used in some fertilizers), dust, and rodent feces.
Parasitic worms are readily transmitted from pets and other animals such as beef and swine tapeworms. Cat litter boxes may pose a threat of toxoplasmosis; the Toxoplasma gondii parasite is found in cat feces. Dogs carry Echinococcus, an intestinal tapeworm the eggs of which spread over a dog’s fur via its anus. Unhealthy human contact with infected dogs, such as kissing, transports the eggs into the human intestine from where they can make their way to a host’s brain and liver.
Bloodsucking insects can transmit parasites through bites as they endeavor to feed on human blood. Insect-borne pathogens are not normally a danger to their natural hosts – a rodent for example – but can become extremely harmful in unnatural hosts such as human beings.
Protozoa – such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia – are transmitted through drinking water that has been contaminated with fecal material from infected persons. They can be found in both running streams and the tap water in many large North American cities served by surface water treatment plants. Schistosomes such as the deadly Trematoda fluke, however, can only be transmitted through skin contact with contaminated water.
One of the most common ways of contracting a parasitic infection is through food intake. Unless properly washed, vegetables grown on farms fertilized with infected human waste can transmit the eggs of various parasites. When swallowed with contaminated food, parasites can be infective. This can easily occur in household settings, or in restaurants where health inspections at even the most expensive world-class restaurants reveal that employees harbor fecal matter under their nails.
Some parasites – the roundworm nematode, for example – spend their immature egg stage in warm, moist soil, just waiting for a new host to invade. Walking bare-footed or sitting on fecally-contaminated soil can be an invitation to the eggs of hookworms or strongyloides, who penetrate the exposed skin and migrate through the human body to the intestinal tract.
Summary
•Expect to become infected by parasites.
•Regular colon cleansings are a must since most water sources are located near human habitation, and are therefore likely infested with parasites.
•Supplement your diet with fiber to improve transit times, and keep your colon cleansed of parasitic activity.
•Supplement your diet with a high-grade multi-vitamin to ensure adequate vitamin, mineral, and nutrient intake, and to combat the resulting deficiency from parasitic infestation.
•If you are prone to infestations, avoid known sources such as contact with rodent feces, cat litter boxes, and inappropriate contact with dogs.
•Use caution when drinking and/or swimming in unfamiliar water sources.
•Wear protective clothing when exposed to bloodsucking insects.
•Wash all fruits and vegetables in clean water before eating to prevent roundworm and whipworm infection. Add a few ounces of over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide and/or mild soap to increase the parasite-killing activity of water.
•Wear shoes or slippers to prevent hookworm infection.
•Do not use water from septic tanks or other potentially contaminated sources for watering vegetables.
•Contain all waste matter in an outdoor toilet or latrine rather than going as nature intended outdoors.
•Children are particularly susceptible to parasites, and often harbor the largest number of worms. Teach them proper hygiene, such as hand washing (including using a nail brush) after going to the toilet, playing outside, or before preparing or eating food.
References:
Jo Jordan and Jesse Hanley, MD

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Dog Deworming

How Worms In Dogs Are Contracted

At Patt Veterinary Hospital, we love helping educate our clients about the best detection and prevention methods for worms in dogs, and we pride ourselves on providing our canine patients in and around the Gilbertsville area with the utmost in care and treatment protocols. Due to their outdoor lifestyles and social natures, most dogs will be at risk of contracting worms throughout their lives. Some of the most common ways to contract worms in dogs include:

  • Drinking contaminated milk from the mother during nursing
  • Rolling in, sniffing, eating, stepping in or licking contaminated soil
  • Consuming infected prey like rodents, birds, and reptiles
  • Mosquito, flea and tick bites and ingestion
  • Coming into contact with an infected dog or another infected animal
  • Consuming or coming into contact with an infected animal’s feces or vomit

It is very important to understand that worms in dogs can cause severe medical issues and health conditions if left untreated. This is why we recommend discussing a dog worm preventive protocol with your veterinarian. You can learn how to spot some common symptoms of worms in dogs, and also how you can go about preventing the presence and spread of worms in and around your home and family, by reading on.

Types Of Dog Worms

The following intestinal parasites are some of the most common types of dog worms:

  • Roundworms: The most common dog worms of all types. Roundworms in dogs grow reach 3-5” long in adulthood, and they resemble a piece of wet spaghetti. Roundworms in dogs can be transmitted via the nursing process, by feeding on an infected animal, or by contact with the infected feces of another animal.
  • Tapeworms: Tapeworms in dogs have long and flat ⅛” segmented bodies that can grow to 8 inches in length. Tapeworms in dogs happen when a dog encounters or ingests a host that is carrying tapeworm eggs, like a bird or a flea.
  • Hookworms: Hookworms in dogs are the smallest of all common dog worms varieties. Hookworms in dogs reside primarily in the small intestine. They grow to approximately one inch in length and feed on the blood. They can cause life threatening anemia in dogs of all ages, but especially puppies. Hookworms are passed in the feces, and can infect other animals and people too.
  • Whipworms: Whipworms in dogs are about ¼” long and reside in the cecum and colon. Whipworms can cause severe damage to these organs, and are considered one of the most harmful dog worms in existence, but are also more geographically distinct than other dog worms.
  • Heartworms: Heartworms in dogs live in the heart and pulmonary arteries. They are transmitted by infected mosquitoes, which migrate throughout the body over about 6 months before finally coming to rest in the circulatory system. Heartworms are transmitted only from an infected mosquito’s bite, and not within or between species. They are preventable and treatable, but can be fatal if not diagnosed and arrested before the advanced stages of infestation.
  • Ringworm: Ringworm, or dermatophytosis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus that results in lesions and sores on the epidermal (or outer skin) layer. Interestingly enough, ringworm is not caused by a worm at all, but rather by an infection of dead layers of skin, hair and nails. Ringworm is curable, but treatment can take time and the condition can be very painful.

Of all these common types of dog worms, the two varieties veterinarians see and treat most often are roundworms in dogs and tapeworms in dogs.

Roundworms In Dogs

Like tapeworms and hookworms, roundworms in dogs nest in intestinal tracts and deposit eggs into a dog’s stool. Because of this, rounworm in dogs can be detected through microscopic imaging. As we mentioned above, roundworms in dogs can be transmitted via the prenatal and/or nursing process, by feeding on an infected animal, or by contact with the infected feces of another animal.

Roundworm eggs found in one dog’s fecal matter can also be contagious to other dogs. Additionally, several other animal species’ can harbor parasitic eggs that when consumed by a host canine, become roundworms in dogs, including:

If your veterinarian detects the presence of roundworms through a fecal exam and/or other supportive diagnostic tools, he or she will order a series of usually between 2-3 roundworm treatments.

These treatments consist of medications that temporarily anesthetize the roundworms, causing them to pass out of the intestines and the dog’s body through bowel movements.

Unlike adult roundworms, the eggs, or larvae, are incredibly resistant and resilient. They have even been known to survive disinfectants and extreme, harsh environmental conditions. In these cases, removal of a dog’s stool is the best option to prevent reinfection. This can be accomplished by using a 1% bleach, 99% water solution to remove the sticky outer coating of the eggs, which will allow them to be flushed away. However, we do not recommend planning or undertaking such a procedure without first consulting your veterinarian.

Adult worms can usually be seen with the naked eye in the stool versus eggs, which require a microscope. For this reason, we highly recommend making an appointment with your veterinarian if you suspect roundworms in dogs, in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Tapeworms In Dogs

Tapeworms in dogs most commonly come from ingesting a host animal or object that contains tapeworm eggs. Tapeworms attach themselves to a dog’s small intestine by latching onto the wall with a sharp, hook-like oral cavity. Dogs that spend time outdoors are at an increased risk of contracting tapeworms, as the contraction and infestation process demonstrates:

  • Tapeworm eggs are attached to flea larvae through locational contact
  • A dog comes into contact with the host flea larvae through skin or oral contact
    • If skin contact, the dog bites and licks to combat the biting flea, which can cause an ingestion of the tapeworm eggs, which will become tapeworms
    • If oral contact, the dog swallows the flea in its entirety, and the digestion process turns the flea into a tapeworm in the intestines

Tapeworms in dogs feed off of partially digested food in the intestines, which robs a dog of much needed nutrients and vitamins (at the least). Therefore, it is extremely important to understand how to spot tapeworms in dogs so that should your canine friend become a host, he or she will not stay that way for long:

  • Dried segments of tapeworms in dogs, approximately ⅛ — 1/16” should be visibly apparent around the anus, or stuck to the fur of a host dog’s hindquarters. They should be hard to the touch, and golden in color.

We recommend contacting your veterinarian immediately should you suspect or witness any symptoms of tapeworms in dogs. There are very effective forms of oral and injectible medications we can prescribe, but arresting and intervening in the early stages of an infestation greatly improves the prognosis for a full recovery.

Symptoms Of Dog Worms

It is important for dog owners to be on the lookout for symptoms of worms, because by the time your canine friend displays signs of infestation, he or she is usually already well along in the process. Some of the most common symptoms of worms in dogs are:

  • Weight loss accompanied by a marked increase or decrease in appetite
  • Distended abdomen, or ‘pot-bellied’ appearance
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea/chronic soft stools
  • Chronic coughing
  • Dulling of coat and/or hair loss accompanied by skin irritation/inflammation
  • Rubbing or dragging the hindquarters across the ground
  • Visible presence of segments of tapeworms in dogs attached to the skin and fur around the anus/hind quarters area
  • Visible presence of roundworms in dogs in infected stool, like tiny grains of rice

These symptoms of worms in dogs can also indicate other illnesses, so we recommend contacting your veterinarian immediately if you suspect or witness any of these symptoms of worms in dogs in your canine friend.

How Are Dog Worms Treated?

Dog worms are generally treatable, so long as they are diagnosed, arrested and treated before the onset of advanced stages of infestation. Your veterinarian can prescribe the proper deworming medication (anthelmintic), along with the appropriate administration protocol, based on the parasite and extent of infestation.

Are Worms In Dogs A Danger To My Family?

Some types of worms in dogs, like roundworms, are very dangerous to human beings, especially children who play in areas frequented by host animals like raccoons, dogs, and cats. Sandboxes and other dirt and sand covered outdoor play areas routinely serve as makeshift litter boxes for animals infected with dog worms, and many other intestinal parasites. In fact, approximately 10,000 children per year are infected with parasitic worms, and conditions including blindness can occur in severe cases. However, we will now discuss several effective precautionary measures you can take to help keep you and your family free from worms in dogs.

Steps To Prevent Dog Worms

Fortunately, various preventive measures can be taken to help ensure your human, canine, and other assorted family members remain at a lower risk for contracting and spreading dog worms. Some preventive measures to reduce the risk of worms in dogs include:

  • Initial treatments given to all puppies at 3 weeks of age
  • Treating nursing females alongside their litter, in case worms in dogs were not detected in a previous fecal examination
  • Monthly dog worms preventive medication, given year round as prescribed by your veterinarian
  • Fecal examinations performed between 2-4 times per year depending on lifestyle habits like hunting, and geographic location
  • Prompt detection and intervention in the form of a dewormer for dogs
  • Clean up backyard feces periodically, at least 2-3 times per week
  • In public parks, playgrounds and dog parks, immediately dispose of feces with sanitary gloves and sealable bags
  • Stressing sanitary and hygienic conditions in the home, including limiting internal exposure to contaminated soil, fecal matter and/or host animals
  • Stressing hygiene in public, and especially with children, by limiting or avoiding exposure to potentially contaminated objects, locations, animals or people

Deworming Puppies And New Dogs

There are few thrills a family can experience like providing a forever home for a new puppy or dog. However, both newly homed puppies and rehomed adult dogs should be dewormed as follows:

  • Puppies: Initial treatment at 3 weeks of age and then as directed by your veterinarian. After the initial treatment(s) are completed, we recommend a monthly heartworm preventive that also helps prevent intestinal parasites. This should be the beginning of an annual dewormer for dogs protocol that your veterinarian can monitor and adjust if necessary.
  • Adult Dogs: Once the initial dewormer for dogs has been given as a puppy, dogs should receive monthly preventives year round. Additionally, we recommend performing fecal tests between 2-4 times per year depending on your dog’s lifestyle and several other factors.
  • Newly Acquired Dogs: No matter the age or documented history, we recommend bringing a fecal sample in for testing.

Treating Dog Worms In The Gilbertsville, PA Area

Scheduling an appointment for worms in dogs in the Gilbertsville, PA area is as easy as picking up a phone and calling (610) 367-2572 or sending us an inquiry through our website.

If You Suspect Your Dog Has Worms, Schedule An Appointment

Our dedicated veterinary team is here to help answer any dog worms questions you might have, and can schedule an appointment for your canine friend today.

We are located on the border of Montgomery and Berks County and service the Gilbertsville, Boyertown, Pottstown Pa, and surrounding areas.

www.pattvet.com

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