Dogs and Cats with Intestinal Worms
The most common internal intestinal parasite problems in pets dogs and cats are intestinal worms (intestinal roundworm, intestinal tapeworm,
intestinal hookworm and intestinal whipworm) and heartworm.
Many dogs and cats mild intestinal parasite infestation and show no symptoms. A healthy cat or dog may fight off an infestation without their
guardian ever knowing of it.
Dogs and cats with stressed or weakened immune systems, however, will succumb to a more severe intestinal infestation if left unchecked.
It seems that new pets often arrive with intestinal worms.
Most puppies and kittens will have intestinal worms from birth.
The worms are passed on from the mother, and the undeveloped immune systems and gastrointestinal systems of very young animals cannot keep
the parasite population in check.
Rescued animals should also be checked for parasite infestations as stress and crowded conditions contribute to the animal’s vulnerability
to intestinal worms
Common symptoms of intestinal worms in dogs and cats can include:
- Weight loss,
Scratching, particularly around the base of the tail ,
Mild to severe coughing,
Eating a great deal without putting on weight,
Puppies and kittens with intestinal worms like roundworms may appear to have a pot belly and exhibit slow growth. They can be born with a roundworm infection or become infected
from the mother’s milk. Rodents are also common carriers, so if you have a hunter in the household, it is wise to regularly check for roundworm.
If the roundworm infestation is severe, long, whitish worms may be seen in the stools, but they are more commonly detected through a fecal examination by a
veterinarian that reveals the presence of eggs.
The life cycle of these intestinal worms includes a trip through the respiratory system (as microscopic larvae),
they are then swallowed and complete their development in the intestinal tract. Hookworms are more common in dogs than cats.
As with roundworms, puppies and kittens can be infested in utero or from the mother’s milk. Intestinal Hookworms attach to the wall of the intestine and suck blood.
It the infestation is severe the animal will develop anemia. "Older dogs" with a weakened immune system are also susceptible to intestinal worms and may show signs such as
poor weight maintenance, poor stamina, progressive weakness, and possibly bloody diarrhea.
It is important that older animals visit their veterinarian for regular checkups as not all decline in activity can be written off to “old age.” Intestinal Whipworms are also more
common in dogs than cats. There are an online pharmacy to contact at any time you detect any health problem in your pet:
and get their services and Vets' advice immediately.
Intestinal Whipworms are difficult to detect as they are seldom seen in the stool and they produce relatively few eggs, so a single fecal exam may not reveal the problem.
The most common signs of intestinal worm as intestinal whipworm are chronic weight loss and stools that seem to have a mucous covering–particularly on the last bit of stool passed.
Whipworm infestation has also been known to manifest the same symptoms as Addison’s Disease.
If a dog shows the signs and symptoms of Addison’s Disease such as a waxing and waning weakness with inability to conserve salt-ultimately
resulting in dehydration, and the tests for Addison’s come up negative, then de-worming for intestinal worm like in this case the whipworm may be in order.
If you are seeing small intestinal worms in your dog or cats’ stools, fur or bedding, then you are likely seeing real intestinal worms called tapeworms.
Tapeworms look like flattened grains of rice-usually found on your companion’s bedding and/or the fur around his anus, or sometimes in the stools.
They often do not show up during a fecal exam by a veterinarian, so watching your pet’s bedding and fur are the best ways to detect them. Intestinal worms such as Tapeworms come with flea
infestations as they are carried by fleas. Before treating intestinal worms such as tapeworm, you must first eradicate any fleas in the environment (home/yard) or they will become
re-infested. (see The Natural Approach to Flea Control). Consuming rodents with tapeworm or fleas may also cause infestation, so again if your
companion likes to hunt–regularly check for tapeworm.
If you suspect your pet may have intestinal worms , it is very important to have a stool analysis performed by a veterinarian to determine the type of worm for
which treatment is needed.
Prevention and Treatment.
A healthy dog or cat with a strong immune system eating a high-quality, raw food diet is not only less susceptible to intestinal worms and parasites of all kinds, she also
will be more able to eliminate any infestation that does occur without intervention. Cleaning litter boxes regularly or “scooping” the yard on a regular basis
is also important.
In treating puppies and kittens is generally recommended to use prescription intestinal de-wormers.
The newer prescription intestinal worm medications available in 1-800-PetMeds to veterinarians are very effective and relatively safe and gentle.
As intestinal worm medications only kill the worms in the animal’s intestines, a fecal analysis should be done approximately 3 weeks after the initial
de-worming to ensure that no migrating intestinal worms were able to re-infest the animal’s intestines.
Intestinal worms herbal remedies have been used successfully for many years. They are particularly effective for less severe
intestinal worms infestations and are safer and gentler than over-the-counter medications. There are no rigorous tests of the natural intestinal de-worming
remedies available,since there is no money to be made there, but these remedies in have been used for many years for humans, dogs and cats infested
with intestinal worms.
NEXT: How to Get Rid of Worms - Natural Worm Treatments
This information sheet is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment
of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice
concerning the treatment of your pet. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions,
drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet.
It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.
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