In the summer months, the most common intestinal worms for dogs are roundworms (Toxocara), hookworms (Ancylostoma), whipworms (Trichuris) and tapeworms (Taenia, Dipylidium). These worms tend to be found in feces that are not picked up and stay stagnant in the grass, allowing the eggs to develop. The most common clinical signs are soft stools, diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, the worms can be seen with the naked eye. In severe cases with large infestations, the worms can form an embolus and cause an intestinal blockage. However, your dog may not present any clinical signs at all, and he or she may still be shedding the eggs.
The most common intestinal worms for cats are roundworms (Toxocara) and tapeworm (Taenia, Dipylidium). The cats that are most likely affected are cats that go outside and hunt, bringing back mice, birds, squirrels, etc. However, any cat that goes outside, even for a short period of time, can be exposed to these worms. The most common clinical signs are soft stools, diarrhea, occasionally vomiting. In some instances, the worms can be seen with the naked eye. The tapeworm can sometimes be seen around the anus, resembling small grains of rice.
The veterinarians at Clinique Vétérinaire Lachine recommend a monthly preventative for intestinal worms during the warmer months, i.e. from May/June – November. These preventatives can be in pill form, or a liquid to apply on the skin. Occasionally, two preventatives need to be combined. However, since the universal drug that eliminates all parasites does not exist, CAPC also recommends testing the stool of your pet regularly. Four times the first year of life, then twice a year thereafter.
If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team of the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.