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Internal Parasites

Intestinal parasites cause serious discomfort to pets, and also pose a threat to pet owners. Many intestinal parasites are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted from pet to human. There are several types of internal parasites including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.

Roundworms and hookworms live in the intestinal tract of dogs and cats. While most common in puppies and kittens, infection can occur in dogs and cats of all ages. Most puppies and kittens are born with roundworms.

Tapeworms are long, flat, segmented parasites that live in the small intestines of dogs and cats. Whipworms live in the intestines of dogs and occasionally cats. Adult whipworms are shaped very thin at the front and become wider toward the rear.

How to Manage Intestinal Parasites

  • A simple fecal analysis at your veterinary clinic can determine if your pet is infected
  • Deworming medication may be recommended based on your pet's fecal results. Frequency of deworming varies depending on the life stage and environment of the pet
  • Quickly clean up pet waste to remove potentially infective eggs from the environment
  • Discourage children from eating soil and potentially contaminated sand boxes
  • Practice good hygiene in order to reduce the risk of human transmission