Intestinal Worms

Why should I be concerned with intestinal worms?
Intestinal worms can be a health threat to your entire family. While puppies and kittens are most commonly infected, adult pets can pick worms up also. Puppies and kittens can be severely debilitated and even die from a high worm load, and adult dogs can develop severe diarrhea and anemia.

If you have children or grandchildren, control of intestinal worms is even more important because some pet parasites can also infect people. If your children play in the same area where your dogs or other animals have bowel movements, it's very important to keep the stool picked up. Children can pick up parasite eggs from the soil and develop roundworm and hookworm infections that can cause multiple serious problems, including blindness.

Remind everyone in your family, particularly young children, to wash their hands before eating and after playing with pets, or at city parks, and after gardening or other soil intensive activities.

What can be done to protect my family?

We agree with The Centers for Disease Control and recommend periodic stool tests to detect the presence of intestinal worms in your pet's stool. In this part of the country it should be done at least annually and, more often if you have young puppies and/or young children, or your dog spends a lot of time outside, hunts or plays at the dog park or other parks. If worms are detected, your pet's doctor will provide the proper medications at the proper intervals to eliminate the worms. Because pets don't develop an immunity to intestinal worms, stools should continue to be checked at least once a year at the time of your pet's annual physical examination.

What does heartworm medication have to do with intestinal worms?

Some heartworm medications we dispense also help control intestinal worms. Sentinel controls hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms by deworming your dog each month. None of these medications is capable of taking care of a heavy worm load. Because of this, your pet's stool should be checked at least annually, even if your dog is on a year round heartworm medication that controls intestinal worms.

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