Does My Cat or Dog Have Worms?

Dr. Jessica Groeneweg Fairgrounds Animal Hospital Does My Dog or Cat have worms? By: Jessica Groeneweg, DVM

It’s disturbing to think that your dog or cat may have worms inside of them. Intestinal worms are the most common type that we see in our dogs and cats. However, other dog or cat worms are out there as well.

If you are adding a new puppy or kitten to the household, then you should have them dewormed when they are at your veterinarian for their puppy and kitten vaccinations. Roundworms are one of the most common intestinal worms we see. They can be transferred from mom to baby through the placenta. In older animals, these worms can be ingested from a contaminated environment, or by ingesting another animal that has the roundworm larvae.

Does your pet have fleas?

Fleas are a common host for larvae of a worm called the tapeworm. Your animal may ingest these worms by eating a flea. Your pet can also obtain these specific worms by catching and eating small rodents such as mice. Flea prevention and proper deworming is important!

What should you do?

Bring in a fresh fecal sample from your pet to your veterinary clinic for testing, as most of these worms can shed eggs in their stools. However, it is important to know that adult worms don’t shed eggs all of the time, so a negative fecal doesn’t always mean that your pet is clear. Routine testing every 6 months to a year is a good way to stay on top of the worm problem.

These are only a couple of examples. For more information, please ask your veterinarian, or go to this website: