What Do I Do If My Pet Has Worms?

“Worms,” are the larval form of internal parasites that can infect your pet. They can live in the intestinal tract and heart/bloodstream of your pet. Some signs your pet may have worms include worms found in the stool/vomit, diarrhea, scooting, etc. If you think your pet has worms, the first step is to bring in a stool sample to your veterinarian for testing. Some clinics perform this test in-clinic or send the sample out to a laboratory for testing.

There are several different types of worms both dogs and cats can get. Some commonly seen parasites are roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and heartworm. Roundworms can be contracted by exposure to feces containing roundworm eggs. Tapeworms infect the pet after being ingested by an “intermediate host,” such as a mouse, bird or even a flea, and is then ingested by the pet. Hookworms can penetrate the skin and travel through the pet’s body to their intestinal tract, where they feed on their blood supply. Heartworms are transmitted through a mosquito bite in which the mosquito is carrying blood infected with the parasite.

If your pet becomes infected with any of these parasites, speak to your veterinarian about treatment options. The best way to avoid infection is prevention. Ask us about internal parasite prevention today!

Resource: Life-Learn “Internal Parasites in Dogs” and “Internal Parasites in Cats”

Written by Briarwood Animal Hospital