A parasite is a plant or animal that lives upon or within another living organism. They can be either internal or external parasites – living primarily on the skin (fleas), in the respiratory tract (lungworms), in the gastrointestinal tract (roundworms) or in the blood vessels and heart (heartworms).

Some gastrointestinal parasites are very small and the only way to diagnose them is by microscopic examination of feces for the eggs shed by the adult worms. Others are large enough to be observed in your dog’s bowel movements or after he vomits. Some tapeworms produce proglottids, which can be seen around the hair on the anus or in the stool, appearing as bits of moving “white rice.”

Among the important gastrointestinal parasites of dogs and cats are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and microscopic parasites Coccidia, Giardia and Strongyloides species.

Intestinal parasites are most often obtained by ingesting worm eggs. They are most common in puppies but can affect any age, sex or breed of dog or cat. Most cause either no signs of illness or gastrointestinal signs. Some worms, such as hookworms, ingest blood so severely affected animals may become lethargic and anemic.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Intestinal parasites are generally diagnosed by microscopic examination of a fresh fecal sample.
  • Treatment depends on the type of parasite, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Most dogs respond well to treatment with medications directed at killing the specific parasite. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.


What to Watch for*:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Weight loss

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Walk Ins: Check-in starts at 9:45am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)


Saturday Hours

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM


24 Hour Emergency Care:


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA



4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA

VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA

Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue

North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd



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