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D2008-10

Dear Daisy Dog

Our new puppy, Cody, vomited spaghetti-like worms. The veterinarian tested a fecal sample, which came up negative. Does that mean Cody’s worms are gone?

Daisy Responds

No. The spaghetti-like worms are roundworms, and Cody undoubtedly still has them.

In one study, 80 percent of puppies examined had roundworms, but only 20 percent of the fecal exams were positive. So your experience isn’t unusual.

I came to my current home with roundworms, so I can tell you about them.

First, despite treatment, Cody can become reinfected. Even though you scoop his poop from your yard, the microscopic eggs remain for many years, ready to infect him when he swallows them along with some grass.

To prevent reinfection, dose Cody monthly throughout the year with a heartworm preventive that also kills roundworms. Interceptor, Heartgard Plus and Revolution are examples.

Next, one study showed that 25 percent of infected dogs harbor roundworm eggs in their hair. Remove them by bathing Cody with a gentle puppy shampoo.

Finally, roundworms can infect humans, where they cause organ damage, blindness and seizures. To prevent inadvertent ingestion of the worm’s eggs, make sure all family members wash their hands before eating.

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