The Scoop on Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms are a concern for both dogs and cats. Even indoor cats are at-risk; they can be exposed by dogs or people who go outside plus cockroaches, mice, flies, and fleas can all carry intestinal parasites that can pass to cats. 

Just a few "fun" facts about intestinal parasites:

* 15% of commercial potting soil contains roundworm eggs. (The Veterinary Record, February 18, 2006)

* A CDC study demonstrates that nearly 14% of the U.S. human population is infected with Toxocara (roundworms). Most people have no symptoms, but in children and immune-compromised individuals Toxocara can cause blindness or system illness. (CDC, 2007 & Greene's Infectious Diseases, 2007)

* Roundworms (Toxocara cati) are estimated to produce 24,000 eggs per day. 

* Tapeworm egg packets look like grains of rice in your pet's stool or clinging to the fur around your pet's anus. 

* Roundworms look like spaghetti and can be passed in stool or vomit. 

For more information on specific parasites, check out the following links: 

Roundworms in Puppies & Dogs

Roundworms in Kittens & Cats

Whipworm Infection in Dogs & Cats

Hookworms in Cats & Dogs

Flea-Acquired Tapeworms in Dogs & Cats 

Rabbit & Mouse-Acquired Tapeworms in Dogs & Cats