Your pet can pick up an internal parasite (roundworms, tapeworms, etc.) from multiple different sources including ingesting parasite eggs in contaminated water, food, feces, soil or another infested animal such as birds, mice and fleas.
Typically the first time a puppy or kitten is introduced to parasites is through their mother. There are two ways this can happen. One way is dormant larvae in the mother become active during pregnancy and crosses into the placenta and infects the unborn animals. The second way is they travel to the mammary tissue and infect the newborns through nursing. The most common symptom of puppies and kittens having parasites is the ‘potbellied’ appearance that people think is cute. This is actually an infestation of parasites. That’s why we recommend deworming your puppy or kitten every couple weeks for the first few months of their life to make sure no internal parasites are lingering.
Other symptoms that your pet might have internal parasites include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, a decrease in appetite, dull hair coat, butt-scooting and lethargy. Some pets will have parasites in their vomit or stool that you will notice. Tapeworms look like white rice whereas Roundworms look like a piece of spaghetti. You won’t always see the parasites in the stool or vomit if they are infected.
Prevention is the best medicine. Please contact Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital to discuss the best parasite protection for your pet.