Manchester Veterinary Clinic

156 Spencer Street
Manchester, CT 06040


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Can you believe this could be the face of Roundworms? ? Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Roundworms are large, spaghetti-like worms that live in the intestinal tract of dogs and cats.  They can cause poor digestion, increased gas with a bloated appearance, vomiting, diarrhea and overall poor condition.


Essentially all young puppies and kittens have roundworms since they get them through the placenta before birth and from their mother's milk; it's unavoidable.  Older animals can get roundworms by ingesting microscopic eggs left in the soil from another infected animal's stool. Those eggs can be released in very large numbers (millions per day) in the stools of infected animals.  One exception is puppies and kittens that may still have only pre-adult larval worms migrating inside of them.  They will not be shedding eggs yet and therefore they can test negative for roundworms.  The eggs can survive in the soil for several years.

Roundworms ? Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT


Baby animals get Roundworms from their mother ? Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Two or more weeks after they are released in the stool, roundworm eggs become infective. They can then infect the same animal (adding to the already present worm burden), other dogs or cats, or even people that come in contact with them and manage to ingest them.  In most people no effects are seen, but occasionally symptoms do develop, most often in children. Children are more vulnerable to exposure because they play on the ground and often will ingest dirt that may contain roundworm eggs.


To control roundworm infections and prevent exposure, the following steps are typically taken:

1. Beginning as early as possible, we medicate all puppies and kittens for roundworms (up to 5 times at 7 to 14 day intervals), the number of treatments depending on age, previous medication and if a stool analysis is positive.  Repeat treatments are necessary because the medication can only eliminate adult worms that are in the intestinal tract, not all the larval ones that may still be migrating through the body on their way to the intestines.  The medications we use are effective and safe.  Occasionally, if many worms are present, intestinal upset with the visible passage of war,s may occur. This program minimizes or prevents the release of roundworm eggs and the contamination of the pet's environment.

2. Older animals that go outside should have microscopic stool examinations performed yearly.  Those found to have roundworms are dewormed 2 to 3 times 10 to 21 days apart, with a stool sample recheck recommended 1 to 3 months later.

Canine Roundworm Cycle ? Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

3. For dogs, year-round administration of a monthly heartworm prevention that also helps to control roundworms is one of the best precautions an owner can take.

Feline Roundworm Cycle ? Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

4. Good hygiene should be practiced.  Puppies should have their stools picked up daily; kitty litter should have solid waste removed regularly.  Any soiled rear ends should be cleaned regularly.  While it is a good idea to wash hands after playing with animals, remember that any released eggs are not infectious for at least 2 weeks.  Therefore, neither children nor adults will be directly exposed by just petting or playing with an animal.


Click here to learn more about the risks to humans