What do intestinal worms look like?

If you're asking yourself what do intestinal worms look like, your answer is in the picture above. More importantly, you need to know what to do about them.

There are two broad categories of worms that may affect our pet dogs and cats, intestinal worms and heartworms.  Please see our heartworm page for more information.

Intestinal Worms

Worming is one of the first health care issues new pet owners need to address, as pups and kittens are the most susceptible. As their name suggests, intestinal worms are parasites that live inside your pet’s intestines. These worms range in size from small to surprisingly large (up to 18cm in length). Regardless of their size however, they all have negative and potentially deadly effects.

Intestinal Worms are zoonotic = humans get intestinal worms from their pets!

Most species of animal, as well as humans, can be infected with intestinal worms including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, fish, birds and reptiles. For a guide on worming your cat or dog, please click scroll down.

Common intestinal worms in Australian pets are:

  • Roundworm
  • Tapeworm
  • Whipworm  
  • Hookworm

If your pet has a large number of worms it may find it difficult to maintain body condition and it can lose weight. In some cases it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even anaemia (a low red blood cell level).

Occasionally, heavy intestinal worm burdens can cause death.

Worms sometimes have complex lifecycles which involve a period of existence and development outside your pet. Understanding the life cycle of a specific worm is important so that strategies for treatment and prevention can be designed and implemented.  For instance, some tapeworms need to pass through fleas to complete their lifecycle, so flea prevention is an important method of controlling tapeworms.

It is important to maintain a routine worming treatment for your pets, to reduce the incidence of infection and to reduce environmental contamination. 

There are many worming treatments available for the various worm infections that occur in our pets.These are available as tablets, spot-ons, or pastes.

Re-infection is a common problem, particularly in pets that are in contact with a heavily contaminated environment. Another very important reason to worm your pets is to protect your family; as children in particular can become infected with certain dog and cat worms.

Knowing what do intestinal worms look like, and what to do is vital for all pet owners.

Guide to Worming Cats & Dogs:

  • Every 2 weeks until 3 months of age
  • Every month from 3-6 months of age
  • Every 3 months from 6 months of age for life

If you would like to ensure you never miss a dose, ask us about our ANNUAL WELLNESS PLAN delivered right to your front door.

Tips to consider regarding worm prevention:

Here are some tips to consider regarding worm prevention:

  • Promptly clean up pet faeces
  • Practice good hygiene, always encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets or prior to eating)
  • Prevent children from playing where the soil may be contaminated
  • Keep your pet's environment clean
  • Always dispose of dog faeces in public parks and playgrounds

There are a number of worming products available, however it is important to give your pet a good quality all wormer, as many cheap versions do not cover all types of intestinal worms.

Please call your vet to discuss an appropriate intestinal worming program for your pet!

"What do intestinal worms look like?" written by Jenny M