The Call of the Moon

The Moon does amazing things we never think about daily, weekly, and monthly.  This Celestial body ranges from 225,623 miles to 252, 088 miles from the earth(and is getting further each year) and yet can still command the tides,  the weather, and even the ability for us to see parasites in your pets stool. 

Crazy right? 

(Pic: Pre moon sample)  (Pic: full moon sample)

If you have been with us for your annual exam, you have heard us plan the yearly fecal check with the appearance of the full moon.  But where did this advice come from?

After a conference with like minded homeopathy professionals, Dr. Lori came back passing along this bit of information.  So we decided to test it!  We watched one patient who we felt had an intestinal parasite issue but could never prove it.  We checked a sample at the start of the month (furthest from the full moon) , multiple checks in the middle of the month, and one money shot at the time of the full moon.  We were shocked to finally see what we had suspected all along.  And there wasn't just one egg in the stool sample, but MANY eggs.  We finally were able to prove what we thought all along and work out a good treatment plan.  The owner did not alter anything about the pets care, just brought us stool to check.

(pic: sample in tub) (pic: floating)

To better understand how that happens we should probably explain how this laboratory test works.  Unfortunately, fecal testing is not fail proof because we take a sample of a sample, and then a sample from that.  You, the client, brings in a small amount of ONE stool your pet passes at one moment in time...then we take a smaller sample (less than a gram, or 1/4 of a teaspoon) for testing.  This is spun in a centrifuge to separate eggs and then floated in a special solution that causes parasite eggs to float to the top.  Then a slide is evaluated under the microscope.  So if your dog poops once a day, from 365 samples, we are only looking at a gram to find something smaller then a needle point.  See how that can be easily missed?!

(pic: sample on slide)

When the moon is full, it forcibly pulls on the water supply of the earth...including the water in your pets.  At this point, the "deep parasites" or those that are hidden and not free floating in your pets’ gut are more mobile leading to easier detection.  This is when they detach to breed or lay eggs.  The increase in mobility and egg production leads to more shedding.  The more eggs per view the better our chances of detection.

So why is this important information?

While some parasites are normal and expected in your pets, an infestation can cause issues with your pets health.  Poor digestion, increased vomiting, issues with stool, and decreased activity are just some things we can attribute to parasite infestations.  Roundworms, Tapeworms, and hookworms are the three of the most prevalent parasites that we see.  They can affect pets during any life stage.  Keeping your pet at the max health will and can deter an infestation but cannot stop your pet from being exposed to these pests. Most pets who look normal will have one or two parasites that they are exposed to every time they go out doors. It is important to keep checking those stool samples annually (or more frequently if you have had positive samples in the past) for a reoccurrence of parasites.  Parasites can exist in the soil along the paths you frequent or even your back yard.  This makes it  likely that your pet will continue to be exposed each time they walk through your door. 

It is important to remember not all dewormers treat every kind of parasite.  So, blindly treating for parasites with a broad spectrum dewormer when not properly diagnosed and identified is the wrong thing to do.  We can cause more harm than good for your pets by using various dewormer at various times.  Please, get your samples checked with us annually and if you suspect an issue bring a sample at or around the full moon.  Together we will work to find the RIGHT treatment for your pets.

Here is a great links for parasite information with the ASPCA:

Animals First