What you should know about internal parasites in cats and dogs
December 2006


Parasites and their Pictures

Sweet Shimas uses

  1. Ivomec as a parasite control.  .1cc on the coat of the puppy once
  2. Giardia Vax vaccine injected 2 doses
  3. 5way + corona vaccine injected (usually 2 doses before they ever leave Sweet Shimas.)


Ivomec makers of FRONTLINE.


Only IVOMEC Plus kills external and internal parasites – including liver flukes – in a single dose.

"Don’t miss a thing."

IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon)  kills more types of internal and external parasites than any other product, all in a single dose. With its reliable, long-lasting power.

The efficacy of IVOMEC against internal and external parasite control has been demonstrated around the world. IVOMEC  combines ivermectin, the active ingredient in IVOMEC, with clorsulon, an effective adult flukicide.

Parasites controlled include:
    • Hookworm
    • Gastrointestinal roundworms
    • Heartworms
    • Roundworms
    • Sucking lice
    • Sarcoptic and Psoroptic mange mites
    • Tapeworms
    • Also see External Parasites
IVOMEC , given at the recommended dosage, also controls other significant parasites, including infections of Dictyocaulus viviparus for 28 days after treatment and Ostertagia ostertagi (brown stomach worm) for 21 days after treatment.

IVOMEC Plus controls internal parasites, external parasites, and liver flukes.

"Don’t miss a thing."


Most internal parasites are worms and single-celled organisms that can exist in the intestines of dogs or cats. The most common worms are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. Common single-cell parasites are coccidia and Giardia.

What are roundworms and how are they spread?

Roundworm Pictures:

Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite in dogs and cats in the world. Animals with roundworms pass the infection to other animals when the worm eggs develop into larvae and are present in the animal's feces (droppings). Your pet can pick up the infection by eating infected soil, licking contaminated fur or paws, or by drinking contaminated water.

Infected female dogs may pass the infection to their puppies before birth or afterwards when they are nursing. Infected female cats cannot infect their kittens before birth, but can pass on the infection through their milk when kittens are nursing.

What are the health risks to pets and people?

Puppies and kittens are the most prone to roundworm infection. Because roundworms live in the small intestine, they steal the nutrients from the food your pet eats and that can lead to malnutrition and intestinal problems. As the larvae move through your pet's body, young animals may develop serious respiratory problems such as pneumonia.

Roundworm infections are zoonotic (pronounced zoe-oh-NOT-ick) diseases, meaning that they are animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans. While direct contact with infected dogs and cats increases a person's risk for roundworm infection, most infections come from accidentally eating the worm larvae or from larvae that enter through the skin. For example, children are at risk for infection if they play in areas that may contain infected feces (such as dirt piles and sandboxes), and they pick up the larvae on their hands.

Left untreated, roundworms in people can cause serious health problems when the larvae enter organs and other tissues, resulting in lung, brain, or liver damage. If the roundworm larva enters the eyes, permanent, partial blindness can result.


What are hookworms and how are they spread?

Hookworm Pictures

Hookworms are the second most common intestinal parasites found in dogs, but they are less commonly found in cats. Your pet can become infected when larvae penetrate the animal's skin or the lining of the mouth. An infected female dog can pass the infection to her puppies through her milk, but this does not occur in cats.

What are the health risks to pets and people?

Hookworms are dangerous parasites because they actually bite into the intestinal lining of an animal and suck blood. As with roundworms, puppies and kittens are at high risk of infection and developing severe diseases. Left untreated, hookworm infections can result in potentially life-threatening blood loss, weakness, and malnutrition.

Like roundworms, hookworm infections are zoonotic, and infections usually occur by accidentally eating the larvae or by the larvae entering through the skin. In humans, hookworm infections cause health problems when the larvae penetrate the skin. The larvae produce severe itching and tunnel-like, red areas as they move through the skin and, if accidentally eaten, can cause intestinal problems.


What are whipworms and how are they spread?

Whipworms Pictures

These worms get their name from their whip-like shape. Animals with whipworms pass the infection along to other animals when the worm eggs develop into larvae and are passed in their feces (droppings). Your pet can pick up the infection by eating infected soil or licking their contaminated fur or paws.

What are the health risks to pets and people?

Like hookworms, whipworms bury their heads in the lining of an animal's intestine and suck blood, but they are generally less harmful and usually do not cause health problems. Occasionally, severe infections can develop and lead to diarrhea, weight loss, and blood loss. Whipworm larvae rarely infect humans when they are accidentally eaten.


What are tapeworms and how are they spread?

Tapeworm Pictures



Tapeworms got their name because they are thin and flat, like strips of tape. Unlike the smooth-bodied roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, tapeworms' bodies are actually made up of joined segments. Dogs and cats become infected with tapeworms when they eat infected fleas or lice. They can also get certain types of tapeworms by eating infected rodents.

What are the health risks to pets and people?

Tapeworms live in the small intestine and steal the nutrients from the food your dog or cat eats. An infection is usually diagnosed when the eggs sacs are seen under the pet's tail or on its stool. These sacs look like flattened grains of rice. While there are several dewormers available that are effective against tapeworms, keeping your pet free of fleas is the best preventative. Rarely are tapeworms a risk to people.

How can I prevent/treat worm infections?

Healthy pets may not show outward signs of a worm infection. However, if you notice a change in your pet's appetite or coat, diarrhea, or excessive coughing, see your veterinarian. In most cases, a simple fecal test can detect the presence of worm eggs or adults and, if present, your veterinarian will recommend a deworming program. A good way to prevent worm infections is by using one of several monthly heartworm preventatives available from your veterinarian.

Nursing female dogs and cats and their litters are also major sources for the spread of infective eggs and larvae. If you have a new puppy or kitten, or a pregnant pet, consult with your veterinarian about a deworming program that will reduce your family's risk of infection.

Worm infections in humans can be easily prevented by practicing good hygiene and sanitation. Children should be discouraged from eating dirt and should not be allowed to play in areas that are soiled with pet feces. Sandboxes should be covered when not in use. Adults and children should always wash their hands after handling soil and after contact with pets. Shoes should be worn when outside to protect feet from larvae present in the environment, and raw vegetables should be thoroughly washed because they may contain parasites from infected soil.

Dog droppings should be immediately picked up from public areas and from your yard to reduce the chances of contaminating the soil. Keeping cats indoors is an effective way to limit their risk of exposure to roundworms.

Other internal parasites

Common single-cell parasites are coccidia and Giardia.

Coccidia (pronounciation: kok-sid’-i-uh, genus: Isospora)

Coccidia Pictures:

Coccidia (cok-SID-ee-ah) are single-celled parasites and are not visible to the naked eye. Your pet can become infected by eating infected soil or licking contaminated paws or fur. Once swallowed, the parasites damage the lining of the intestine and your pet cannot absorb nutrients from its food. Bloody, watery diarrhea may result, and the animal may become dehydrated because it loses more water in its stool than it can replace by drinking. Young pets are most often infected because their immune systems may not yet be strong enough to fight off the parasite. Coccidia can be very contagious among young puppies and kittens, so households with multiple pets should be especially careful to practice good hygiene and sanitation.

A routine fecal test by your veterinarian will detect the presence of coccidia. Treatment with medications will prevent the parasite from multiplying and allow time for your pet's immune system to kill the parasites.

What is the treatment of coccidiosis?

It should be mentioned that stress plays a role in the development of coccidiosis. It is not uncommon for a seemingly healthy puppy to arrive at his new home and develop diarrhea several days later leading to a diagnosis of coccidia. If the puppy has been at the new home for less than thirteen days, then he had coccidia before he arrived. Remember, the incubation period (from exposure to illness) is about thirteen days. If the puppy has been with his new owner several weeks, then the exposure to coccidia most likely occurred after the animal arrived at the new home.

Fortunately, coccidiosis is treatable. Drugs such as sulfadimethoxine (Albon®) and trimethoprim-sulfadiazine (Tribrissen®) have been effective in the treatment and prevention of coccidia. Because these drugs do not kill the organisms, but rather inhibit their reproduction capabilities, elimination of coccidia from the intestine is not rapid. By stopping the ability of the protozoa to reproduce, time is allowed for the puppy's own immunity to develop and remove the organisms.

How is coccidiosis prevented or controlled?

Because coccidia is spread by the feces of carrier animals, it is very important to practice strict sanitation. All fecal material should be removed. Housing needs to be such that food and water cannot become contaminated with feces. Clean water should be provided at all times. Most disinfectants do not work well against coccidia; incineration of the feces, and steam cleaning, immersion in boiling water, or a 10% ammonia solution are the best methods to kill coccidia. Coccidia can withstand freezing.

Cockroaches and flies can mechanically carry coccidia from one place to another. Mice and other animals can ingest the coccidia and when killed and eaten by a dog, for instance, can infect the dog. Therefore, insect and rodent control is very important in preventing coccidiosis.

The coccidia species of dogs and cats do not infect humans.

Sulfadimethoxine 12 1/2% solution (generic Albon)
Sulfadimethoxine 12 1/2% solution

        What I do is buy the Sulfadimethoxine 12 1/2% solution (generic Albon) from Lambert Vet Supply without a prescription and for a lot less money. Active ingredients:  Each fluid ounce contains 3.75 grams Sulfadimethoxine solubilized with sodium hydroxide. I buy the one-gallon size jug of the generic brand of Albon which is the Sulfadimethoxine 12 1/2% solution for $40.75 (accurate price as of 04/20/2008) per gallon. Simply click on either picture to the left of this paragraph and order a gallon jug of either the Sulfadimethoxine (generic Albon) or the name brand Albon today. (NOTE: Lambert Vet Supply is not a sponsor of SWEET SHIMAS and we do not make a cent by referring them to you. They do have the absolute lowest prices available to help all of us keep our Shimas in great health while we save hundreds of dollars each and every year. Here is more information about Lambert Vet Supply.)

Dyne High Calorie Supplement, 1 Gallon

Dyne High Calorie Supplement

          This gallon jug of liquid Sulfadimethoxine is enough antibiotic to medicate a huge kennel full of Shima's for several months or even years. If you have more than one dog to treat with the Sulfadimethoxine drug for a coccidiosis outbreak, I highly recommend you follow in my footsteps and buy and use the gallon size jug of this medication as well as another product described below and then you can make your own 5% Albon solution just like you get from the Vet.

          I also purchase a gallon jug of Dyne High Calorie Supplement, which is a liquid nutritional supplement, from Lambert Vet Supply. I buy the one-gallon size jug for $33.50 each (accurate price as of 04/20/2008). Simply click on the picture of Dyne High Calorie Supplement to the right of this paragraph and order a gallon jug today. This product is  formulated to provide a nutrient dense liquid diet with essential vitamins and has a high caloric value. This product expedites the rate of recovery of weak or sick animals. It also may be fed as is or diluted with milk for animals unable to eat solid foods.

          Then what I do next is I mix 5 ounces of Dyne High Calorie Supplement with 4 ounces of the Sulfadimethoxine 12 1/2% solution discussed above. This gives me a fairly palatable mixture of the 5% Albon (Rx) at a 85% or higher savings without the required prescription or the expense of a Vet office visit. I know many breeders that are paying $75 or more per pint for the 5% Albon (Rx) solution that they get from their Vet. This will give you approximately 2-gallons of the 5% Albon (RX) for only $75 rather than only 1-pint that a Vet will sell you for $75 -- you figure up the savings! Once you have this 5% Albon solution mix, each teaspoonful (5 mL) will contain 250 mg of Sulfadimethoxine. Dogs should receive 1 teaspoonful of this 5% Albon Oral Suspension  mixture per 10 lb of body weight (25 mg/lb or 55 mg/kg) as an initial dose, followed by ½ teaspoonful per 10 lb of body weight (12.5 mg/lb or 27.5 mg/kg) every 24 hours thereafter. I recommend you give this treatment for a total of 10 days.

The medication may be administered in food or water, given as a drench orally. I give each dog its own food and medicine in its own feed dish to make sure each dog is getting the proper amount of food and medicine or at least use it as a drench to be given orally to each dog/puppy. This Sulfadimethoxine 12 1/2% solution mixed with the Dyne High Calorie Supplement will save you hundreds of dollars a year. I urge all kennels to keep a gallon of each handy. This Sulfadimethoxine 5% solution mix has a wide margin for safety, is very easy to administer, and absolutely works miracles on getting rid of coccidiosis in your dogs. Since coccidiosis is so easily spread from one dog to the next, I highly recommend all dogs get a full treatment even if only one dog shows symptoms -- better to be safe than sorry.


The best information I have ever come across, about coccidia can be found at :


Common single-cell parasites are coccidia and Giardia.

Giardia (Giardia lamblia) *classification (taxonomy)

Giardia Pictures:



Scanning electron micrograph of giardia attached to the inner surface of the intestine.

Giardia (gee-AR-dee-ah) is also a single-celled parasite that, if swallowed, damages the lining of the intestine and reduces the absorption of nutrients from the food your pet eats. While most Giardia infections do not cause illness, severe infections can lead to diarrhea.

Giardia is harder to diagnose than other intestinal parasites, and several stool samples may have to be tested before it is found. If necessary, your veterinarian will recommend treatment with medications to eliminate the infection. Because it is highly contagious among animals, good hygiene and sanitation are important when there are multiple pets in the household.

A routine fecal test by your veterinarian will detect the presence of giardia. Treatment with medications will prevent the parasite from multiplying and allow time for your pet's immune system to kill the parasites.


Now there is a vaccine to prevent signs of disease associated with Giardia infection in dogs. Fort Dodge Animal Health was recently granted a license by the USDA for Giardia Vax®, the first vaccine to prevent disease and reduce cyst shedding caused by Giardia infection in dogs. Giardia Vax has been proven to be an aid in the prevention of disease caused by Giardia infection. Giardia Vax is safe and effective for healthy dogs eight weeks of age or older. I purchase the Giardia Vax from Lambriar Animal Health care. They sell a box of 25 shots for $152.00 which figures out at $6.08 per shot (current price as of 12-5-07). This price includes overnight shipping of $38.00 I have all vaccines brought in by overnight shipping to assure the vaccine is healthy and alive.


Heartworm Pictures

Heartworms Basic

In rescue work, we have realized that too many dog owners have no idea what heartworm disease is. They seem to think the disease is something microscopic in the heart, certainly not 'real' worms. They will even tell veterinarians their dog "doesn't need" heartworm preventative. Other people think that if they keep their dogs inside, mosquitoes can't bite them: obviously, dogs have to go outside to eliminate, and obviously mosquitoes get into homes as well. Finally, some people think mosquitoes cannot bite long-haired or thick-coated dogs. Despite all these myths, we have treated dozens of dogs for heartworm disease who had uninformed owners like these. The above graphic picture speaks volumes about canine heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis), and even more about the misery this poor dog must have experienced before his death. In its advanced stages (levels 3 - 5 [heavy infestation; the heart is 'loaded' with worms]), Caval Syndrome (worms cross over the vena cava), and DIC ('disseminated intravascular coagulation' when the blood cannot clot normally), this disease involves up to 100 6-inch to14-inch adult worms. They fill the heart, impede the blood supply, and in final stages, cross over into the arteries and lungs, shutting off oxygen, shutting down major organs, and in many cases breaking up and causing an embolism and blood clots. All the while, these worms are breeding within the dog, producing microfilariae that are picked up by mosquitoes and carried off to infect other unprotected dogs. Due to the ignorance about heartworm disease and neglect of too many dog owners, heartworm disease has become epidemic in the United States; and it has also become an extremely painful, agonizing death for too many innocent dogs who trusted their owners to take care of them.

Canine heartworm disease is the single most preventable disease in dogs. Nevertheless, it is the major disease that kills our rescued Dogs, especially in the South where we have the environmental conditions--high humidity, numerous waterways and coastlines--that allow for heavy incidence of mosquitoes, which carry the microfilariae (that become larvae in this stage) that infect the dogs. However, don't believe the myth that northern regions are free of heartworm disease: it has been found in all fifty states.

Important points about internal parasites

  • See your veterinarian if your pet has diarrhea, weight loss, increased scooting, a dull coat, or if you see worms under its tail, in its bedding, or on its stool.
  • Prompt treatment of internal parasites lessens your pet's discomfort, decreases the chances of intestinal damage, and decreases the chance that your pet will infect humans or other animals.
  • Good hygiene and sanitation reduce the chances that your pet will infect people or animals. You can help prevent the spread of infection by always cleaning up your pet's droppings immediately.
  • Other Parasite's and their Pictures:
  • Amoeba Picture
  •   Flukes Picture
  •   Pinworm Picture

American Veterinary Medical Association
For more information, Visit www.avma.org






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