Worms are a major threat to both dogs and cats.  Our area harbors a large population of roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.   Many people know that worms may cause weight loss, a swollen abdomen, or vomiting and diarrhea.  However, worms can cause much more serious damage and even death.  Roundworms and hookworms are the two worms most common in puppies and cats.  Whipworms in adult dogs are perhaps the most dangerous, covert worm attacker.  Many of the common heartworm preventatives do not control whipworms allowing whipworms to invade the pet and cause a very severe, non-specific illness.  The whipworm eggs are also shed intermittently making a definite diagnosis difficult.   Tapeworms are acquired either through a flea infestation or through the ingestion of an infected rodent, such as a mouse or rabbit.  Thankfully, all worm problems can be managed well with proper dewormings.  Make sure that your pets are properly protected from all the worrisome worms! 

Lindsey N. Haile, D.V.M

King William Veterinary Clinic

(804)769-3200

www.kingwilliamvet.com