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Parasites exist internally and externally. Many parasites are species specific and some are zoonotic (transferable to humans). Intestinal parasitism exists in all ages of animals with the greatest frequency in young puppies and kittens. Types and incidence of parasitism varies with geographic regions. Additionally, age and immune status are significant factors influencing gastrointestinal (GI) parasitism.
Most parasites are diagnosed by a microscopic fecal examination using various chemicals to help concentrate the population of parasite eggs. Some parasites are visible to the naked eye although, they are not consistently shed into the feces.
Common intestinal parasites: