What do they look like and where do they live?

  • Roundworms are large white worms, with cylindrical bodies
  • The adult roundworm lives in the small intestine and feeds on the gut contents

How can my pet contract roundworm?

  • Pets can contract roundworm by swallowing infected eggs from the environment
  • Puppies are usually born infected with roundworms; kittens and puppies can also become infected via their mother’s milk
  • If your pet likes hunting, then they can also be at risk of roundworm infections, by ingesting a paratenic host – such as rats or birds

How will this parasite affect my pet?

Symptoms can include:

  • Pot belly
  • Poor coat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Poor growth

However there are often no outward signs.

Can this parasite affect my health?

Disease is not common, however it can be devastating where it does occur, as larvae can migrate within body tissues and in extreme cases has reached the eye causing blindness


What do they look like and where do they live?

  • Tapeworm look like long, flat ribbons or tapes, divided into segments
  • Adult tapeworm live in the small intestine
  • Once mature the tapeworm releases segments containing eggs, these pass out in the cat or dog poo and may be seen (they look like small white crawling ‘rice grains’!)

How can my pet contract tapeworm?

  • Cats and dogs contract tapeworm by ingesting an infected intermediate host
  • Animals may need tapeworm treatment more often if they frequently hunt or scavenge, or have access to sheep/cattle carcasses – such as farm dogs
  • It is estimated that a cat will ingest around 50% of any fleas present on their coat through the process of normal grooming
  • A flea is the intermediate host for the most common tapeworm of dogs and cats, so even indoor cats can become infected by ingesting fleas

How will this parasite affect my pet?

  • If your pet has a tapeworm infection, you may not realise as cats and dogs infected with adult forms of the tapeworm often show no symptoms
  • Tapeworm segments in the poo can cause irritation resulting in pets licking the area excessively, and they may ‘scoot’ across the ground
  • Symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea can also occur

Can this parasite affect my health?

  • In extreme cases, and if humans inadvertently ingest some types of tapeworm eggs, cysts can develop within body tissues

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