Pets get worms. Many kittens and puppies get them from their mothers, before birth or through their mother’s milk. As they grow up, cats and dogs can contract a variety of worms in a variety of environments, simply by doing the things they love: playing outside, digging in the dirt, grooming themselves or eating other infected insects and small animals. In fact, if you think your pet has worms, you're not alone: it's not uncommon that cats and dogs are infected with some type of worm in their lifetime.
It can be scary to think of your pet as having a parasite and it’s true that the complications can range from mild to severe. But it’s also true that there are ways you can treat current problems and prevent future discomfort. Effective dewormers can be found at pet specialty stores or through your vet.
How to tell if your cat or dog has worms
Wondering if your cat or dog has worms? Many animals may show no symptoms of worms at all, and some worm infection symptoms are similar to other illnesses.
The following signs may indicate your pet has worms:
- Bloody stool
- Excessive hindquarter licking
- Poor appetite
- Poor growth
- Potbelly appearance
- Rice-like segments on fur under base of tail
- Worms or rice-like segments in stool
- Visible worms in vomit
- Weight loss
What kind of worms do cats and dogs get?
The most common types of worms in cats and dogs are tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms (dog only).
Hookworms: Prolific bloodsuckers, hookworms can lead to severe blood loss. Get to know hookworms.
Roundworms: A common intestinal parasite, roundworms infect pets at some point in their lives, most often as kittens and puppies. Get to know roundworms.
Concerned about heartworms? They, too, can infect your pet but are not intestinal worms. Rather, they live in your cat's and dog's lungs and heart. Visit our heartworm education section for more information about deadly heartworm disease.
Worms are gross!
Having worms isn’t a reflection of your care. Pets get into a lot of things and worms are pretty good at taking advantage of every opportunity to tag along.
Want to know more about how cats and dogs can get worms? Read more about worm infections and how Bayer can help you help your pet:
Above all, when your cat or dog has worms they still need your love. Don't be afraid to to get close to them and show your affection with snuggles and nose kisses. We'll help provide the products; you provide the care.
Related article: Intestinal worms in dogs