Okaw Veterinary Clinic LLC

140 West Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953



See the Magic Cat Tree in our Waiting Room




There is More to Worms than Meets the Eye
Remembering Past Pets


There is More to Worms than Meets the Eye

One of the most common misconceptions about worms in pets is that you will see them in the stool. The majority of worms are too small when passed to be seen, infrequently passed so unless you look at 100% of every bowel movement of your pet every day you will miss those that can be seen, and there are immature stages in the  body that cause problems long before they are possibly visible. Worms that live in the intestines are actually common even in the best cared for dog or cat. Even people can pick up parasites so a little knowledge can help both you and your pet.

Most pets pick up worms from walking or sniffing (then eating) some soil. Most all of the soil in backyards, parks and other areas has some infestation by the larvae stage of the most common worms. These you will not see at all. Larvae stages are microscopic - not visible. Hook worms for example actually creep through the skin to infect any mammal. Did your mom every say "Don't run around without your shoes on! You'll get worms!" She was right. People can pick up hook worms this way, or laying on the bare ground say when camping. Round worms are very common in the soil and again, people can become infected when they do not wash their hands after handling dirt then eating. 

Veterinarians are always asking for your pet's stool. That has to be the most difficult specimen for clients to bring in. For some people it is as if we are asking for nuclear waste! I know it is not the most pleasant thing in the world to "handle" but worm control starts with looking for it.

We have nifty stool collection cups that you only have to bring in a small amount and it keeps your hands off of the stinky stuff. Samples should be less than 24 hours old, and not frozen.

A stool tests (fecal test) can find worm eggs when they are shed. Occasionally there may not be eggs shed that day so a negative test may not really mean no worms. If a pet seems to show signs of worms - weight loss, anal gland problems, frequent stools (more than 2 a day), soft stools or chronic skin problems then a broad spectrum worming is often given. Sometimes a worming will be given if the pet's lifestyle can put them at higher risk for worms. A cat goes out occasionally is at high risk due to hunting habits.

The best way to prevent parasites is to keep your dog and cat on monthly heartworm prevention prescribed by your veterinarian. All of the heartworm products will control intestinal parasites as well as heartworm. The range of control will vary with the  preventative, so discuss worm control with your veterinarian. Do not stop the monthly prevention in the winter. It is important to keep it up year around.

If you want to know even more about worms than what I have covered here - see the article on our website. It is the most frequently hit page on our site! 



Remembering Past Pets

Christmas time is marked with many traditions and memories for us. So often we remember family members both human and not at Christmas time. For some, it may be difficult as these memories and changed traditions come about. For others, there is a accepted fondness when remembering the cat that always climbed to the top of tree ready to knock it down or the dog that would always manage to get those cookies off the counter no matter how far back you put them. 

Our pets are a part of our life. They live with us and become a part of our every day rituals. They may sleep with us, nudge us to wake even on the weekends, greet us at the door with a meow or happy barks, and force us to get up and take care of them even when we may feel low. Unconditional love is often credited to our pets, something that we humans often work towards but fall short at times. When our pets die, we feel a great loss for their companionship and those daily rituals that have become a part of our life.

Grief over losing a pet is normal, and we pass through the same stages in grieving pet loss as we do any other loss.  Acknowledging this grief and taking the time to create memorials to your pet is a healthy way to go through this process. In recognition of our client's pets that have passes, we have a memorial pet tree set up in our office over Christmas time. Photos of our client's pets are put on ornaments and after New Years, we host a memorial service to honor those pets and provide the owners and friends a place to remember fondly those pets. We will be holding our memorial service this year Jan 4 at 7 pm.

All are welcome and If your pet's ornament was on the tree we will give it to you that night. Some readings and time for reflecting on the positive, good things that our pets gave to our lives is the focus of the evening. 

We started this event a few years ago. I had heard of some clinics doing this and thought, it may be a nice way to stay connected with those clients and also honor the pets. I did not realize how much it helped me and my staff to have an event where we could remember these beloved pets who we had cared for. When a patient dies, we also feel a loss - not as deep as the families - but a sadness as well. Taking some time to remember the good things about that pet and expressing appreciation for being able to care for a family member is very helpful to us too.

So, if you would like to see the tree please stop by this week. We will be closed between Christmas Eve and New Years Day. We are open until 7 pm Friday and during the week until 5 pm. We are located at 140 W. Sale Street, in downtown Tuscola. I have also set up a face book event page which you can find at Okaw Veterinary Clinic with photos and details.  At our office we also have information and ideas to help you or a friend if you are grieving after the loss of a pet. 

Okaw Veterinary Clinic
140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953
(217) 253-3221


Mon & Fri 8 am - 6 pm
Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm
Sat 8 am - noon
Closed Thurs & Sun

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