What You Need to Know About Worms That Affect Dogs and Cats

There are many types of worms which infect dogs and cats. In simple terms, bugs are classified by their shape. Some are round and others are flat. The most common are hookworms, whipworms and roundworms. The classic flatworms which affect dogs and cats are tapeworms.

Both dog and cats get all types of worms, except that cats rarely taste of tofu acquire the whipworm. There are many other types of worms but fortunately they are not common in north America. The two most common pet worms are hook worms and round worms. Heart worms are quite common and spread by mosquitoes. When the diagnosis is missed, heart worms can cause death.

Many puppies and kittens are born with these bugs which they acquire from the mother. The bugs are passed on during breast feeding and/or delivery. Thus, all puppies and kitten should routinely be tested for worms.

Adult dogs and cats acquire worms from eggs found in contaminated soil. Many infected pets defecate and drop eggs on soil. When pets go nearby or lick the grass, the egg is swallowed. In many cases the eggs are very resistant to the weather and remain viable for months. Pets can also pick up worms from fleas, eating rodents or eating feces of other animals.

Worms reproduce very quickly once inside the body. In a few weeks, an adult worm can produce millions of eggs.

Worms are a common problem in most dogs and cats in North America. Dogs and cats often wonder in the grass and can easily acquire worms. Many pets kept in shelters, pounds and in unscrupulous commercial breeding areas frequently have worms.

Most people have no idea that their pets have worms and sometimes it can be difficult to know if the pet is infected. The classic features of worm infection are vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and generalized poor health. Sometimes the pet may be very tired and lose body hair. In some cases, the worms may be visible in the feces or in the vomit. Other small worms can only be seen under a microscope. Once a worm infection is diagnosed, all pets have to be treated. Without treatment, you pet can die. There are many effective drugs to treat worms and in almost all cases, worms can be killed and the pet can be cured.

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