Worms

Dogs

Nothing more disgusting than finding worms in a pets poop or vomit. Generally in our area we find ascarid worms (roundworms) or tape worms. Adult round worms are long, thin, pointed ended and can be seen in vomit or stool, usually in pups or kittens. In adult pets, roundworms are more common in dogs than cats, mostly because dogs think the poop of other dogs (containing the roundworm eggs) can be tasty…whereas cats do not. But since most owners scoop poop, roundworms are seemingly less common now a days. Children can become infected by dog or cat roundworm larvae and being an abnormal host, the worms can migrate to eyes or brain tissue and cause problems. This is also uncommon here in Canada. Many products can eradicate roundworms. Ask you vet to the best medication in your situation.

We also occasionally diagnose lungworm in cats in our area, generally in farm or feral cats. They pick up these parasites, which as their name suggests infect the lung tissue, by eating frogs, snails, slugs which carry the larval form.

Tapeworms live in the intestines of cats and dogs and release “segments”, basically egg packets, into the gut appearing a small rice grain-like worms on the surface of stool. Cats occasionally get tapeworm species from eating small mammals or birds, but by far we see pest with fleas getting infected with tapeworms, because when a cat or dog grooms an infected flea off it’s body, it passes the tapeworm larvae onto the the new host. These are gross worms but cause few if any problems. Tape worms are treated with a special medication – praziquental.