Pet owners who use monthly heartworm medication are aware of the protection it provides against heartworm disease. This monthly medication also protects against several intestinal parasites, some of which can be passed along to humans. These intestinal parasites include: roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm.
Intestinal worms thrive and reproduce in the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. Intestinal worms are referred to as parasites because they attach to your dog’s intestinal wall, and feed on your dog’s nutrients. A dog may contract worms through contact with feces, fleas or through the consumption of rodents or rabbits. Symptoms of a worm infestation may look like several other health issues, but can include: diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, abdominal bloating, decreased appetite/weight and visible worms on fur or in feces. Puppies can contract worms through their mother’s milk, and should receive deworming treatments. Hookworms can migrate through human skin, leaving young children especially vulnerable to contracting parasites. Roundworms are able to travel through the human body, including the eye, resulting in possible blindness and neurological issues. Ask your personal physician if you have any health concerns.
Most of the prescription heartworm medications protect your dog against common intestinal worms. If you have any concerns, check with Indian Peaks Veterinary Hospital about scheduling an exam and fecal test.