Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Roundworms In Dogs and Cats

Intestinal parasites are a common infection of dogs and cats. Roundworms (Ascarid) are one of those parasites that can infect our dogs and cats and can also pose a threat to humans.

Roundworms are contracted a number of ways:

1.  Contaminated soil that harbors the parasite
2.  Via embryonic development while in utero
3.  Puppies ingest the parasite via the mothers milk

Roundworm infection can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, pot belly appearance, unthriftiness and pneumonia.    


But treatment with a number of available products (dewormer, Sentinel, Heartgard) is very easy and effective in resolving the infection. 

Human exposure is also a possibility and the infection is more likely in children and pregnant mothers.  Roundworm infection in humans can cause " visceral larval migrans".  This often leads to migration of the worm into the eyes causing blindness. (click here to see picture)

Prevention of parasitism is key for your pet's health as well as your own. Your pet should be on a monthly heart worm preventative which also contains a intestinal parasiticide.  In addition your pets stool should be picked up and disposed of to keep the environment clean.  

For more information visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

Kim Simons, DVM
Pet Hospice and In Home Pet Euthanasia

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