Roundworms are the most common of parasite worms. Most pets will be infected with them some time in their lives, usually as puppies/kittens. The mother can pass the worms to her offspring while still in her womb or after they are born, through Moms milk while the puppies/kittens are feeding. Roundworm larvae can also be in the environment itself and ingested by the pet or offspring. Another way your pet can get infected with Roundworms is by eating a mouse or other small mammal that maybe infected with roundworm larvae.
How do roundworms affect my dog?
Adult roundworms live in an in affected pet’s intestines. Many dogs/cats do not show any signs unless their is a major infection or are still a puppy/kitten. Signs consist of diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, dull hair and a pot-bellied appearance. A dog/cat may cough if the roundworms have moved into the lungs. You may see adult roundworms in the feces or vomit.
Because roundworms can enter your pets body in many different ways, It is important to keep your pet’s living area clean. Remove feces on a regular basis and when ever possible prevent your pet from eating wild animals. Nursing mothers should be kept on monthly preventive and treated along with the puppies/kittens to decrease the risk of transmission. Many heartworm preventives also control roundworm and is why we recommend giving on a year round basis. A yearly stool sample should be ran, this will check for any worms or eggs that may be shedding so as not to infect the environment.
Roundworms can potentially infect people. Due to their behavior, young children are at great risk, but immunosuppressed, elderly, and pregnant women are also at risk. Having regular fecal examinations performed on your pet and treating when indicated can help minimize the chances of human transmission