Roundworms in Dogs and Cats Roundworms are a common intestinal parasite seen in both dogs and cats. Puppies and kittens are often born with a developing roundworm infection that can lead to stunted growth if not treated properly. Read on to learn about this very common condition. What are roundworms? How did my pet get roundworms? Signs Your Pet May Have Roundworms Diagnosis of Roundworms in Dogs and Cats Treatment of Roundworms in Dogs and Cats Preventing Roundworms in Dogs and Cats Can I get roundworms? Read more: Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding roundworms in dogs or cats or another condition? Are you concerned about your pet?Book a video consultation with an experienced veterinarian within minutes.Professional vet advice onlineLow-cost video vet consultationsOpen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Book Video Consultation What are roundworms?Roundworms can infect both cats and dogs. Toxocara cati are roundworms that affect only cats and kittens, while dogs and puppies are affected by Toxocara canis. Both dogs and cats may be affected by Toxocara leonina. Adult roundworms are relatively large and can grow up to 7 inches in length. They are typically white-cream in color and are often described as looking like spaghetti.How did my pet get roundworms?There are several routes of transmission:Trans-mammary Transmission - Nursing from an infected mother (puppies and kittens)Trans-placental Transmission - While in utero (before birth) from an infected pregnant mother (puppies only)Ingesting roundworm eggs from the soil, usually when grooming or self-lickingEating infected prey, such as rodentsSigns Your Pet May Have RoundwormsStunted growth in puppies and kittensBloated and/or painful abdomenDiarrheaWorms present in vomit or stoolSometimes pets display no signsDiagnosis of Roundworms in Dogs and CatsWorms visible in stool or vomit. Worms may potentially be alive and moving.Definitive diagnosis is made by the presence of roundworm eggs on microscopic exam of stool (fecal analysis).Treatment of Roundworms in Dogs and CatsPuppies and kittens should be dewormed as part of routine veterinary care. Several medications are effective in treating infections. Typically, multiple doses are necessary to fully eliminate roundworms.Many monthly heartworm preventatives also contain deworming medication that is effective in eliminating a variety of intestinal parasites. Veterinarians recommend providing your pet with year-round heartworm prevention.It is always recommended to bring a stool sample to your pet’s yearly veterinary wellness exam.Preventing Roundworms in Dogs and CatsRoutine (yearly) fecal examMonthly heartworm preventativeCleaning up your pet’s stool from the environment as soon as possible. Fresh stool is not infectious. It takes about four weeks before roundworm embryos can cause infection. Eggs can remain infective in soil for years.Prevent pets from huntingCan I get roundworms?Yes! You and your family can become infected. People can contract a roundworm infection by accidentally ingesting soil that contains infective eggs.Ingesting large numbers of eggs can lead to liver, skin, or eye issues. Removing stool from the environment, covering sandboxes and hand washing are all effective methods to help prevent roundworm infections for you and your family.Read more:Hookworms in Dog and CatsDeworming Your Dog - Q&ACommon Intestinal Parasites in CatsNeed to speak with a veterinarian regarding roundworms in dogs or cats or another condition?Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.