Protect Your Family From Zoonotic Illnesses

Disease: Roundworm Infection

Roundworms are large worms that look like spaghetti when passed. They live in the gastrointestinal tract.

How it’s transmitted among dogs and cats: Through ingestion of eggs in contaminated environments, ingestion of infected prey and during nursing. Puppies can also be infected while in the womb.

Signs and complications in pets: Abdominal distension, vomiting, failure to gain weight

How your veterinarian detects it: Performing a fecal examination and observing worm eggs under the microscope

Preventing the disease in pets and people:

  • Promptly remove animal feces from your yard.
  • To limit pets’ exposure to contaminated areas, keep dogs on leashes or in a fenced area and keep cats indoors.
  • Deworm puppies as recommended by your veterinarian, then follow with a monthly parasite-prevention product.
  • Promptly treat infected pets to prevent the shedding of roundworm eggs, which are hardy and long-lived.
  • Ask your veterinarian to perform fecal examinations at least once a year.
  • Cover children’s sandboxes when not in use.

Disease: Tapeworm Infection

Tapeworms are worms with a flattened, ribbon-like appearance. They live in the gastrointestinal tract.

How it’s transmitted among dogs and cats: Ingesting infected fleas and prey

Signs and complications in pets: Many pets show no signs; tapeworm segments that look like rice or sesame seeds may be found around the anus; pets may have anal itching that causes them to drag their hind ends across the floor

How your veterinarian detects it: Observing tapeworm segments in freshly passed feces and performing a fecal examination

Preventing the disease in pets and people:

  • Make sure all family pets use a monthly flea-­prevention product recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Ask your veterinarian to perform fecal examinations at least once a year.
  • Deworm pets that are good hunters as recommended by your veterinarian to keep the parasite burden down.

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