What are Roundworms?
Roundworms are worms that live in the intestines and deprive their hosts of
nutrients. On average they are about 3-5 inches long. Roundworms,
or ascarids, pass moderate numbers of microscopic eggs which are found in
the pet's stool. They do not attach to the wall of the intestine, as do some
worms, but instead swim within the intestine. If left, roundworms will continue
to grow and multiply and may block the intestinal track completely posing a serious
risk for puppies, kittens, adult dogs and adult cats. They can be an important cause of illness, and even death, in kittens.
How are Roundworms Transmitted?
Puppies/Kittens born to mothers that have had roundworms at any time in the past can transmit them to their litter before birth. In fact, more than 90% of puppies are born with roundworms or acquire them shortly after birth from their mother. Both litter and adult puppies are born with roundworms or acquire them shortly after birth from their mother. Both litter and adult mothers may become infected by swallowing roundworm eggs which contain infective larvae.
The larvae hatch out in the animal's stomach and small intestine and migrate through the muscle, liver and lungs. After several weeks, the larvae make their way back to the intestine to mature. When these worms begin to reproduce, new eggs will pass in the pet's stool, and the life cycle of the parasite is completed. Roundworm eggs passed in one pet's stool may be infectious to other animals. A large number of other animal species have been found to harbor roundworms and represent potential sources of infection for pets. These include: cockroaches, earthworms, chicken, and rodents.
Symptoms of a Roundworms Infection:
• Respiratory distress
• Loss of appetite
|• Weight Loss
• Dull, Scruffy fur
• Swollen abdomen ("pot belly")
It is important to clean the environment with a strong chemical like bleach that will kill the fungus. This can be
achieved using an antifungal shampoo or topical treatment on your pet to halt the infection. Dewormers help remove parasites from your pet, as well. Dewormer treatments for your dogs and cats at least once every six months is recommended. We carry a great variety of effective deworming medications at low prices.
Humans are vulnerable hosts to ringworms, too, so it's important to create a safe
environment for both you and your pet.
Are Roundworms a Danger to Me or My Family?
Roundworms can be a health risk for humans. The most common source of human infection is by ingesting eggs that have come from soil contaminated with cat (or dog) feces. As many as 10,000 cases of roundworm infection in humans have been reported in one year in the United States. Children, in particular, are at risk for health problems should they become infected. A variety of organs may be affected
as the larvae migrate through the body. In suitable environments, the eggs
may remain infectious to humans and pets for years.