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Treating Roundworms in Dogs and Cats

How to Treat Your Pet's Roundworm Infection

By Kat Sherbo. November 05, 2012 | See Comments

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    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

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Treating Roundworms in Dogs and Cats

Cats and dogs with roundworm can be effectively treated with medications. Read about the treatments for roundworm infections.

Roundworms are parasites that can infect a dog or cat’s intestinal tract or other bodily tissues, ultimately causing malnourishment, as the parasites consume the pet’s food and block the intestines.

Deworming Medication

Your pet will need a dewormer solution if they’ve been infected with roundworms, but be sure to find one that includes roundworms in its specific target. Some heartworm medications and other parasite dewormers will work against several types of parasites. Also, if your dog or cat is already on a heartworm medication, ask your veterinarian before starting a roundworm dewormer.

How the Medication Works

Deworming medicines target the adult roundworms that have attached to the intestinal wall. The worms are anesthetized so that they release their hold on the intestines and pass out of the body through your pet’s stool. Once in the outside environment, the worm dies.

Because some worms may be in different life stages at the time of treatment, deworming medicines may have to be administered several times to be fully effective. Worms that aren’t yet in the intestines won’t be affected by the medication, so you’ll have to catch them again as they reach the adult life stage.

Common Types of Dewormers

  • Febantel (in Drontal Plus)
  • Pyrantel pamoate (in Drontal, Drontal Plus, Strongid, Nemex, Heartgard Plus, Iverhart Plus, and Iverhart Max)
  • Praziquantel (in Drontal, Drontal Plus, and Iverhart Max)
  • Ivermectin (in Heartgard Plus, Iverhart Plus Chewables, and Iverhart Max)
  • Piperazine (in many over the counter products)
  • Fenbendazole (in Panacur)
  • Milbemycin oxime (in Trifexis)
  • Moxidectin (in Advantage Multi for Dogs and Advantage Multi for Cats)

Prevention

Since roundworms are so common, especially in puppies and kittens, it’s essential to get your new pet checked immediately. Some veterinarians recommend deworming for puppies and kittens whether there are any signs of the worms or not, just to be safe. 

Your veterinarian may recommend a year-round preventative deworming medication if your pet is at a high risk of infection, or has had recurring infections.

To reduce the risk of your pet getting roundworms, clean the litterbox or the place in the yard where your dog eliminates on a regular basis. Don’t let your dog sniff or eat the stool of another animal anywhere, like in a park or along your walking route.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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