|What you need to Know
About Intestinal Worms
There are four common varieties of Intestinal Worms. Hook Worms,
Round Worms, Tape Worms & Whip Worms. Each of these parasites
have a different affect on your pet.
Below you will find information on each parasite, what they do, where they
come from, your risks and what you can do to rid your pet of them.
There are four common types of worms:
Tapeworms: Found in both dogs and cats, tapeworms are the most visibly
detectable intestinal parasites, as they often appear as rice-shaped segments around
a pet's anal region or in its feces. Some tapeworms do not have visibly detectable
segments and can be the source of some of the most serious and life-threatening
diseases to humans. Because heartworm preventatives generally offer no protection
from these parasites, it's critical to protect your pets from these pests with a Total Pet
Parasite Protection program.
Tapeworms require an intermediate host (generally fleas, rabbits, rodents and
ruminants) to mature, so pets can only become infected by ingesting a host carrying
Roundworms (also known as ascarids): Large, cream-colored worms that typically
grow 10 to 15 cm long. While these worms are easy to see if they are expelled in
vomit or feces, it is quite possible that infected pets will show no outward symptoms of
a roundworm infection. These infections are very common in puppies and kittens.
Roundworms are prolific egg shedders — a single female can produce up to 100,000
eggs a day. Pets often become infected by ingesting soil or vegetation contaminated
by these shed eggs. In addition, pets can become infected by consuming a secondary
host (such as a rodent, rabbit or bird), through their mothers before birth (puppies) or
Hookworms: Typically about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long, hookworms are found in the
small intestines of cats and dogs. They live on blood and tissue, often rapidly leading
to serious illness and death. In fact, as few as 50 worms can be fatal to a puppy or
A female hookworm often sheds eggs at the rate of 25,000 a day, quickly
contaminating an environment. Pets then become susceptible to infection by either
ingesting hookworm larvae or by the larvae penetrating a pet's skin. Puppies born to
previously infected mothers will also generally become infected through nursing.
Whipworms: Found mainly in dogs, whipworms attach themselves to a pet's large
intestine where they feed on blood.
Pets can only become infected by whipworms through the ingestion of eggs, but
unfortunately, whipworm eggs are especially hardy. They can survive in soil for years,
even in the coldest climates, quickly re-infecting pets that frequent contaminated areas.
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