Roundworms

roundworms

There are many types of roundworms, but some of the most common are intestinal parasites of dogs, cats, and raccoons. Puppies are frequently born with roundworms, and kittens can be infected via the mother's milk or feces. Adult roundworms are ivory colored, four to six inches long, and round (not flat ) in shape. These parasites can cause diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and even coughing in these young patients. In the usual case, the owner will not see the adult roundworms passed in the stool. This is why it is important for the veterinarian to do a laboratory test to check for any parasites that might be present. We check for parasite eggs with a microscope. You should bring a fresh stool sample (one that was produced that day) to your puppy or kitten's appointment.

It is important to know that animal roundworms can be transmitted to people, and in some cases can cause serious disease. In a recent study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it was reported that almost 14 % of all Americans are infected with Toxocara, the most common roundworm of pets. Although most people infected have no symptoms, the parasite is capable of causing blindness (especially in children) and other systemic illness. The infective agent is the microscopic egg in the animal's stool. It is known that these eggs are very resistant to environmental conditions. They have been shown to live in yards, playgrounds, and fields for up to 10 years.

The most dangerous roundworm is Baylisascaris, a parasite of raccoons that has an affinity for brain tissue. Children infected with this parasite have suffered severe, permanent mental retardation. The majority of raccoons carry this parasite. If wildlife is present on your property, you should patrol the grounds and any raccoon stools should be treated as hazardous waste. Wear disposable gloves to double bag and dispose of the feces. The only thing that will kill the remaining eggs in the soil is fire.

The CDC recommends regular deworming of all puppies and kittens to try to reduce the exposure to people. A medication will be dispensed when your puppy or kitten is first seen. Another important measure is monthly parasite preventative, or what we sometimes call "heartworm preventative." Many of these drugs are also effective for roundworms, and are an important part of a wellness program.

The CDC prevention measures include:

  • Keep dogs and cats under a veterinarian's care for early and regular deworming
  • Clean up after the pet and dispose of stool
  • Keep animals' play area clean
  • Wash hands after playing with dogs or cats
  • Keep children from playing in areas where animals have soiled
  • Cover sandboxes to keep animals out
  • Don't let children eat dirt

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Our Regular Schedule

Rice Lake Animal Hospital

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Thank you to Dr. Gambling and the vet tech (I'm apologize, I can't recall her name) who treated my cat, Knoxie, today! I walked in expecting the worst, but left there feeling great relief. They are both wonderful and understanding people!"
    Jenner D.
  • "My dog had a 1 inch cut on his throat and was bleeding. i was in panic mode and called them. Then girl said we are very busy but be here for 5:30 and the vet will look after him. Every one was very welcoming to me and my dog that explained every and costs before they did anything. I have been to other vets and i can say they totally made my day and pricing was very fair . THANK YOU KENN"
    Kenneth H.
  • "I had to share this. I went to Rice Lake Animal Hospital this morning to pick up meds for Mack and Candy. When I arrived there were some people there with their little dog that had an injured paw. The office was closed for the holiday weekend. These people were staying at Southview Cottages and didn't know what to do. I was in the process of telling them about an emergency vet not too far away when a vehicle came in. Around the corner came Dr. Susan Gambling and her little dog. She opened up her office to help these people with their little dog. Not many would do this. This is why I love Rice Lake Animal Hospital �
    I hope the little dog was ok."
    Cheryl A.