You may have heard that roundworms can infect humans, but did you know they can infect pets as well? Read on for some important details regarding how to identify the presence of roundworms in your pet and how you can eliminate and treat them. If you have additional questions or need to treat your pet for roundworms, our animal clinic in D’Iberville, MS, is here for you and your pet.
What Are Roundworms?
Roundworms have long, round bodies and range in size from those that can be seen by the naked eye to those several hundredths of an inch long that can only be seen under a microscope. They can live on or in the intestines of people or pets and can cause an assortment of health problems.
For people and pets, most parasitic roundworm eggs or larvae are found in the soil and enter the body when a person or pet accidentally ingests eggs from the environment. The eggs may be present in soil or on plants or other objects. A pet can also become infected after eating an infected animal. Humans can become infected with roundworms upon contact with contaminated dog feces or soil, as roundworm eggs may accumulate in the soil where pets deposit feces.
How to Locate Roundworms
Many times, infected pets do not show any outward signs. However, there are some symptoms you can watch for. Roundworms may be detectable in vomit or feces or around your pet’s bottom. They will appear white or light brown in color and may be several inches long. Your pet may also display vomiting, weight loss, dull fur, increased appetite, weakness, diarrhea and a potbellied appearance. He or she may cough if the roundworms move into the lungs.
If you do see roundworms on or near your pet, bring your pet to a veterinarian.
How to Eliminate and Prevent Roundworms
Roundworms can enter your pet’s body in many ways, so it is essential to keep your pet’s living area clean, remove feces regularly and prevent pets from eating wild animals that may carry roundworms.
To eliminate roundworms that a mother has passed along to her puppies or kittens, puppies or kittens should be treated regularly for the first couple of months of life. After, they should receive a monthly preventive treatment. Fecal examinations should be performed two to four times during the first year and one or two times per year for adults. A veterinarian should ensure that nursing mothers are kept on a monthly preventive and treated along with their puppies or kittens.
When it comes to preventing roundworms, many heartworm preventives also control roundworms. Ask the professionals at D’Iberville Veterinary Hospital about prevention and treatment options for your pet.
For additional questions regarding treatment or prevention strategies related to roundworms, contact our animal clinic in D’Iberville, MS, at 228-392-3295.