Roundworms and Hookworms 101

Every month, we treat the Little City Dogs (and cats) with two or three of our wormers for the three main types of worms that live in cats and dogs:  1) tapeworms, 2) roundworms and hookworms and 3) heartworms. Let us tell you why roundworm worming is so important.

Roundworms and hookworms are found in soil. So since soil is everywhere, so are roundworms and hookworms.  Roundworms everywhere means worm infestations are 100% unavoidable so they simply need to be treated routinely. If you wonder where all those worms are coming from… it’s a cycle.  

We don’t want to shock you, but YOUR dog and/or cat has worms.  ALL dogs and cats have worms!  They get it from their mothers, who got them from THEIR mothers and so on going back to the first dog and cat. Our task as pet guardians is to keep those worms to a minimum and inactive, but more about that later.

When all those wormy pets poop somewhere… say at your favorite park, they refresh the supply of worms in the soil there to infest the next pets that walk through.  

Keep in mind that these worms have been around for some 545 million years and can live just fine in soil with no animals around. So if you planned to just avoid the park, don’t bother.  Roundworms are everywhere. While the humble tapeworm can be found on every continent EXCEPT Antartica, the roundworm has the tapeworm beat and can be found on EVERY continent on earth.

Even if you don’t have a dirt yard, you can still have a source of transmission for infestation.  Your pet can become infested by merely sniffing or licking infested surfaces or feces.  And from infested soil, surfaces and feces, the infestation can be transmitted from one animal to the other.

From sniff, surface or soil, these worms enter your pet, but typically burrow into your pet through their abdomen or between the toes. Not only can an infestation be transmitted by an animal smelling, licking or ingesting feces of pets — if you thought you could simply have your pet avoid other pets, keep in mind that infestations can also be acquired from contact with infested rodents, insects and earthworms, birds and THEIR droppings.

As we said earlier, these infestations are common and easily acquired.  So common that we never wait to see worms.  We treat the Little City Dogs and cats… with Pyrantel Pamoate liquid wormer every month to keep the worms to a minimum and inactive.

We found a hilariously informative video on the subject for which we thank Else-Vet. and present to you here.  Watch – laugh and learn.

Active worms – Inactive worms – Puppies and Kittens

Over the millions of years roundworms have been developing methods of infestation, and our pets have been evolving dynamic immune systems to defeat them.  In fact, our pets have evolved a way to keep these worms at bay by caging them in cysts throughout their bodies and in that way, prevent them from being active. However whenever a bitch or queen (female dog or cat) becomes pregnant, the worms break free from these cysts and target the uterus and mammary glands specifically in order infest the puppies or kittens.

So, it is the puppies and kittens that are most in danger.  A substantial worm infestation in a pup or kitten can lead to anemia and even death. So it is especially important to worm your pregnant dogs and cats and at 2 weeks of age, their puppies and kittens.  

While we will soon dedicate a whole blog to puppies and kittens and their special needs. It is important to know that it is standard veterinary medical practice to worm all puppies and kittens at weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 and then monthly.

In our next blog, we will talk about HEARTWORMS, the third type of worm that we recommend you regularly treat as a regular part of your pet health care routine.

Heartworm is transmitted by infested mosquitoes… we call them “flying hypodermic needles”.  They are by far the most deadly of the three worms for adult pets.  For more information read our Heartworm 101 blog.

You have to treat these three types of worms with different wormers because these worms are different…

Heartworms live in the heart, not the gut (it needs a wormer that gets into the bloodstream)

Tapeworms live in the gut, but inhibit host digestive enzymes (it needs a wormer that disturbs their bio-defenses).

…and finally hook and roundworms also live in the gut (which requires a wormer that disturbs their specific bio-defenses which are similar to, but different from that of the tapeworm ).

We want you to be aware of how these three types of worms survive so you understand why you will want to treat your pet REGULARLY for these infestations.  Not just WHEN you see these worms, but monthly so you NEVER see these worms.

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