PetMeds® Worms in Dogs and Cats: Symptoms and Treatment

Intestinal worms are fairly common in particularly young dogs and cats, especially puppies and kittens, which in most cases are born with intestinal parasites such as roundworms.  There are a variety of symptoms indicating possible intestinal parasites.

Symptoms of worms in pets include:

  • Abdominal enlargement or bloating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Varying degrees of vomiting and/or diarrhea, depending upon the severity of the infestation
Abdominal swelling and changes in your pet's appetite could be a symptom of intestinal worms

Pets with intestinal worms will often have unkempt hair coats that are dull with an excessive amount of shedding also seen.  Many pet owners will often erroneously feel that their pets don’t have worms if they don’t visually see them in the stool. However, most of the time microscopic exam of stool samples by veterinarians or veterinary laboratories is necessary to diagnose intestinal parasites.  The exception to this would be seeing tapeworms, which often appear like rice segments by the tail or anal area or sometimes seen in the stool.

If pets are heavily infested with roundworms, these can occasionally be seen  in the vomit as long spaghetti looking worms.  However, in most cases of intestinal worm infestation, microscopic evaluation is needed for diagnosis and best treatment plans.  In cases of simple digestive upset many pet owners will often try to worm their pets at home first before going to a veterinarian.  Wormers like Drontal Plus, Dog Worms 3 or Panacur C cover many types of worms. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, a veterinary exam is recommended, as overworming pets can cause intestinal inflammation and potentially chronic digestive tract issues as well.

Most of the routine monthly heartworm preventative medications such as Sentinel or Heartgard Plus, contain ingredients that also treat and control most intestinal worms – making these pet medications a great benefit to pet owners and their pets.

Comments

  1. Susi Miller says

    My 65 pound dog has tapeworms, and my husband bought an over the counter treatment that is supposed to treat all types of worms, but administed too light of a dose because he underestimated the dogs weight at 45 pounds (dose was 1 tsp per 10 pounds of body weight, so he administered 4 tsp instead of 6-7 tsp.) the next morning he administered a second dose (3 tsp) and we saw another live worm in the dog’s feces 2 days later. Should we try again, or wait a week or month?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      Please see your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment of worms on this one. You could try praziquantel from 1800petmeds.

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