The Furry Critter Network

Roundworms - Issue Description

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Issue Description

Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites found in dogs - and especially in young puppies, that are often infected at birth, or soon thereafter.


See Symptoms and Diagnosis


Puppies affected by roundworm often vomit them up putting these worms up for display. Coughing, developing a potbelly, diarrhea, weakness, emaciation (extreme weight loss) and pneumonia are all common signs and can be severe enough to cause death if not treated soon enough.


The larvae of one of the roundworms - Toxocara canis - lie dormant in the tissues of most adult female dogs. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can activate these larvae, which then migrate through the placenta to infect the unborn puppies.

Some immature forms of canine roundworms can also be transmitted through the nursing mother's milk, although this is a less common route of infection.

Puppies can also become infected by eating dirt or feces containing worm eggs and larvae, by licking contaminated fur or paws, or by drinking contaminated water.

Most adult dogs become infected through contact with worm eggs and larvae in the environment.


Prevention and treatment are nearly one in the same. Regular deworming is a popular choice as the same medication the treats or kills the worms in its various stages is also nicely suited to ensure that when your canine companion gets contaminated, the parasites are killed on the spot.

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

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If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

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Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.