Veterinary Service

Pet Worms, Fleas, and Other Parasites

Veterinary exams and parasite testing are critical steps in protecting your pet’s health. Allow our experienced staff to provide you with a comprehensive parasite control program.

Pet Worms, Fleas, and Other Parasites

We can recommend a parasite testing schedule, go over signs of parasites you can look for at home, go over ways to control parasites in and around your home, go over treatment options if your pet has parasites, and go over ways to control and prevent parasites in the future.

cat having ticks

Pet Worms, Fleas, and Other Parasites

Previously, parasites such as fleas, ticks, and roundworms were regarded primarily as a nuisance. We now know, however, that parasites can cause severe illness and even death in pets. Ticks, for example, can spread Lyme disease, and fleas can spread tapeworms and Bartonella – the bacteria that causes “cat scratch fever” in humans. Mosquitoes transmit another type of parasite known as heartworm. Heartworms live in your pet’s lungs and heart, causing damage and, in some cases, death. Intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms pose a threat to pets and can even be transmitted to humans.

Fortunately, our in-house laboratory can determine whether or not your pet has parasites in less than 10 minutes. We can also check your pet for fleas, ticks, and other parasites.

Learn more below about the common worms you must be concerned about:

Hookworm and Roundworm

Hookworm and Roundworm

Both of these worms are common in kittens and can be transmitted to other animals and even humans via eggs in animal feces, which can contaminate dirt and other surfaces. Roundworm, or toxocariasis, is the most common parasite of concern to humans because it can cause blindness or swelling of the organs or central nervous system in rare cases. Hookworms can also cause mild to severe pain in humans.


Tapeworms are one of the most common intestinal parasites in cats, transmitted when a cat ingests an infected flea. If your pet has tapeworms, it will pass small segments of the worm, the size of a grain of rice, in its stool.

You may also notice segments stuck to your cat's hair under the tail. Tapeworm segments do not pass on a daily basis but can do so as soon as two weeks after a flea exposure.


Cats can also serve as hosts for parasites. Heartworms are extremely dangerous and can cause fatal heart and lung damage. Heartworms are primarily transmitted by mosquitos, which absorb blood containing microscopic heartworm larvae before biting another animal and transmitting the parasite.

Heartworm symptoms frequently do not appear until the situation has progressed to a critical stage. Coughing, fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss are all symptoms. Because symptoms usually appear late in the process, it is critical that you take steps to prevent heartworm and test your pet for heartworm on a yearly basis.

Veterinary Services at Forest Hills Cat Hospital

Pet Diagnostic Imaging

Pet Nutrition
Pet Vaccinations
Pet Bartonella Awareness & Treatment
Pet Internal Medicine
Pet Surgery
Pet Acupuncture
Pet Pharmacy
Pet Laboratory Services

Pet Worms, Fleas, and Other Parasites

Pet Boarding

Pet Microchipping