Scoop the Poop

Why are we so interested in POOP?

Not an unfair question.  Some of our clients have noticed that the folks here at VCF have an inordinate fascination with…well, the icky stuff that usually finds it’s way to the garbage can. We collect it, analyze it under a microscope, heck, most of the staff acts oddly cheerful just to get a bag of the stinky stuff. “What’s wrong with you guys?” Any reasonable person would ask.

The answer to our fascination with your dogs and cats “deposits” is actually quite serious. The staff of VCF is on a constant hunt for parasites.  Those nasty little microscopic worms that show up in your pet’s feces aren’t just a nuisance. Hookworms, roundworms, Giardia, as well as a host of other uglies can affect both your children and your furry buddy’s health.

Many intestinal parasites are “zoonotic,” meaning they can infect both pets and people. The tiny eggs can infest the soil for years, waiting to be picked up by your pet or child. Ingestion can result in anything from mild disease such as a brief, passing intestinal discomfort, to a much more serious illness. Two of the most dangerous parasites are Ocular Larval Migrans, which can cause blindness in children, and Visceral/Cutaneous Larval Migrans, which can result in severe rashes and other systemic problems in people.

How scary is that!? So does that mean we need to get rid of Fluffy? Of course not! These parasites are easily detected by a intestinal parasite exam, which we perform here at VCF every six months. The material you bring in is suspended in a chemical solution, centrifuged, and mounted under a microscope for analysis (kind of like poop CSI, huh?) The eggs are easily spotted by our highly trained crew, and the right medications dispensed on the spot, so the only thing you and “Spot” share is love.

Prevention of exposure to these dangerous parasites is also key. ALWAYS pick up after your dog on walks and in parks; you don’t want your dog spreading dangerous parasites to other people’s children and pets. Do not let your cat free-roam outside; and never feed stray cats, as they use flowerbeds and public parks as bathrooms where children regularly play.

And go ahead, bring us that “poop-o-gram” every six months. When our staff smiles at you for the lovely gift, remember its not because we’re strange, it’s because we’re happy to be contributing to the health of the kids and the furry friends in our community.  It’s what we do best!

Cheers and thanks!

Dr. Katie

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