Glenway Animal Hospital

6272 Glenway Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45211


Parasite Prevention Month

Did you know:Approximately 3 million people every year contract intestinal parasites from their pets.  The CDCC recommends checking your pets fecal sample every 6 months to best protect your pets and your family.

Intestinal parasite life cycle - Glenway Animal Hospital - Cincinnati,Ohio   

The four main intestinal parasites that can be harmful to your pet and your family are: roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm.

Roundworms (Toxocara):

How the infection occurs:

- consuming infective worm eggs from soil in the environment (generally from normal grooming)

- nursing from an infected mother

- consuming prey animal (usually rodent) that is carrying developing worms

- during embryonic development when an infected mother dog is pregnant (most puppies are infected this way)


roundworms - Glenway Animal Hospital - Cincinnati,Ohio

roundworms in an intestine



- Many flea control and/or heartworm prevention products provide a monthly de-worming that is especially helpful in minimizing environmental contamination.

- Medications anesthetize the worm so that it lets go of its grip on the host intestine and passes in with the stool.  It can not survive in the environment and dies.  It is likely that you will see worms in the stool and they will be moving because they are still alive, so be prepared.  

- The larvae in migration cannot be killed by any of the treatment products.  Once the adult worms are cleared they will be replaced by new worms completing their migration.  This means it may take a second and even third de-worming to completely clear the intestine. 

Round worms - Glenway Animal Hospital - Cincinnati,Ohio

Roundworms in Humans:

Humans are not natural hosts of roundworms so it often leads to dysfunction in other organs.  This picture shows a roundworm larvae that is trapped in an optic disk behind the retina of the eye, and a granuloma forms.  This causes permanent loss of sight in the eye and is the most common symptom in humans.


- Hookworms suck blood.                                                                           Hookworms - Glenway Animal Hospital - Cincinnati,Ohio

- Hookworms can be transmitted to unborn pups.

- Hookworms can infect humans.

Hookworms suck blood, which is why they can be especially dangerous for young puppies and the effects can be long lasting.  An infected puppy may be weak, pale, iron and protein deficient any may or may not have diarrhea.  

 Treatment includes a de-worming product to clear the puppy of worms, but this may not be enough.  A blood transfusion may be needed until the puppy can replace its red blood cells.  An iron supplement may also be recommended. 

Hookworms in people - Glenway Animal Hospital - Cincinnati,Ohio  Hookworms in Humans:

- Burrow into feet from walking barefoot in contaminated soil.

- Infection in skin is intensely itchy, but usually treatable. 

- Can also become infected by consuming improperly washed vegetables.  Humans can have a hookworm intestinal infection, but it is easy to treat.


- Whipworms attach to and live in the large intestine and suck blood.  whipworms - Glenway Animal Hospital - Cincinnati,Ohio

- When multiple worms are embedded, tremendous inflammation can result, causing bloody gooey diarrhea.  Usually the blood loss is not dangerous amounts, but the diarrhea can be difficult to control. 

- Fecal tests can often be negative because female whipworms do not lay eggs frequently.  However, if symptoms are consistent de-worming treatment is recommended regardless of the fecal results. 

- Most common de-worming medications do not get rid of whipworms.  It is usually necessary to follow up with a second or third de-worming treatment.  


Pets are infected with tapeworms by consuming an adult flea.  Tapeworms hook onto a dog or cats small intestine.  Tapeworms absorb nutrients through its skin as the host digests food and grows a long segmented tail.  When a segment drops off it is basically just a sac of tapeworm eggs.  The sac is passed out of the hosts rectum and into the world, often the segments look like rice found on your dogs bed and around your home.  Controlling fleas is the best way to prevent tapeworms.  

 Tapeworm life cycle - Glenway Animal Hospital - Cincinnati,Ohio