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Unless protected, dogs and cats of all ages can be harmed by a variety of parasitic infections:

Intestinal Parasites - Hookworms, Roundworms, & Tapeworms

External Parasites - Fleas, Ticks, Mites

Heartworms - Parasitic worms that live in the Canine Heart (cases of Feline Heartworm are growing as well)

In this page, Luv My Pet will provide you will both basic and specific information regarding Intestinal Parasites: Hookworms, Roundworms, Tapeworms,. and others

Puppies and kittens can be born with hookworms and roundworms, and therefore need to be dewormed as babies. This is why we include a dewormer in the Luv My Puppy Package and Luv My Kitten Package. Puppies & Kittens should be dewormed at least twice, and should have a fecal test to determine if other intestinal parasites are present. Remember intestinal parasites are worms in the stomach and guts. Heartworms are worms in the blood stream & Heart.

I. Hookworms


Hookworms cause blood loss through the intestines and can cause a puppy or kitten to die from anemia (severe blood loss). This worm can be transmitted to humans through the skin. These worms are killed with Pyrantel (Anthelban, Strongid)


Hookworms are nematode parasites of the species Ancylostoma caninum in the small intestine of dogs, and Ancylostoma tubaeforme of cats. Adult hookworms and fourth stage larvae are voracious bloodsuckers causing blood loss, anemia, and enteritis. Active worms leave bite sites in the intestines that continue to seep blood. Of special concern is infection in neonates causing acute disease. Coughing may result from larval migration to the lungs following skin penetration. In dogs, hookworms may be transmitted through a motherís colostrum. All species of hookworms are also transmitted by ingestion of infective larvae or by skin penetration.

Clinical signs include: pale mucous membranes, dark tarry stools, constipation, loss of condition, poor appetite, dry cough, and sudden death.

Diagnosis is by fecal examination for eggs.

Treatment for hookworm infections is with Pyrantel Pamoate (Strongid-T). Monthly prevention will stop hookworm infestations. Puppies and kittens should be dewormed at 2-4 week intervals until weaning. Breeding females should be dewormed to prevent transmission to their young. Acute cases are treated with fluid therapy and deworming, blood transfusions may be necessary.

See Hookworm Pet Meds & Hookworm Dewormer Prices

II. Roundworms


This worm gives puppies & kittens the very large bloated belly appearance, while being thin in muscle and flesh. This worm also causes blood loss through the intestines, is present often at birth in these babies, and can be transmitted to humans. These worms are often vomited up, or pooped out. They are very fat, long and round, and curl up in a tight spiral after leaving the body. They look like fat spaghetti noodles. Owners that state they are seeing worms must be questioned as to the appearance of the worm. These worms are killed with Pyrantel (Anthelban, Strongid). Short flat looking worms are tapeworms and are killed with Praziquantel (Cestex, Droncit).


Roundworms is the common name for Ascariasis. Ascariasis of dogs is caused by Toxocara canis; and in cats, Ascariasis is caused by Toxocara cati. Both species are affected by Toxocara leonina. Roundworms are relatively large robust worms up to 12 cm in length so that distension of the small intestine often leads to colic, interference with gut motility, and inability to utilize food. Because of transplacental transmission to fetuses, puppies may be born with a developing worm burden. Kittens can be infected through transcolostral transmission. Older pups and kittens may become infected by ingestion of infective eggs disseminated on premises by dams infected postgestationally.

Clinical signs include: abdominal distension, colicky pain, cachexia, anorexia, scanty feces, coughing due to larval migration, weakness, sudden death.

Diagnosis is by fecal examination for eggs.

Treatment for roundworms is by deworming with Strongid or other anthelmintics. Monthly prevention will stop infestation. Bitches and queens should be treated to prevent subsequent litter infections. Roundworms may be seen in a petís stool. They look like thick strands of spaghetti, with round bodies. They usually coil up tightly when defecated out of the body. They can be from 3"-10" long.

See Roundworm Pet Meds & Roundworm Dewormer Prices

III. Tapeworms


Tapeworms are caused by the pet eating/swallowing fleas carrying the tapeworm eggs. This is the only way to get tapeworms, by eating infected fleas. Tapeworms crawl out of the anus, and are found crawling on fresh stools. They are very itchy, and cause the pet to drag their rears on the ground to scratch. These worms are not dangerous, and cause no other real harm to the pet. They just "gross out" owners, and cause rear end itchiness.

We kill these worms with Praziquantel (Cestex, Droncit). We can give this drug to kill the tapeworms, but if the fleas on the pet are not killed/removed/addressed, the pet will have tapeworms again in about another month.


Tapeworm infections of the small intestines of dogs and cats are caused by Taenia pisiformis, and Dipylidium caninum. Taeniids are transmitted by predation of rabbits or rodents, Dipylidium is flea-vectored with flea maggots picking up tapeworm eggs in dog or cat feces and transmitted by adult fleas when ingested by dogs or cats. There is no apparent harm done to the dog or cat by tapeworms except for perianal pruritus. Owners find the tapeworm segments unsightly, as they crawl from the anus periodically and stick to the pet's hairs.

Clinical signs include: dragging or rubbing the anus on the ground, and visible tapeworm segments on the feces. Causes or risk factors are eating viscera of rabbits or rodents, and fleas in the environment.

Treatment for tapeworms is with Praziquantel (Droncit) 5mg/kg once. Tapeworms are often described as looking like "grains of rice". They are flat, usually Ĺ" or shorter, and can be seen crawling out of the rectum, or moving on freshly defecated stool.

See Tapeworm Pet Meds & Tapeworm Dewormer Prices

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