WORMS can have a serious health effect on dogs and cats, so intestinal worming should never be overlooked.
How can you tell if your pet has worms
Tapeworms and Roundworms are two of the few that can be seen by eye. Tapeworms look like small pieces of rice and can be found in the faeces or around the tail and rear area, sometimes clinging to hair. For this reason you may see your dog scoot his rear across the ground as the worms can be irritating.
Roundworms are long white worms that look like noodles or spaghetti. Occasionally puppies may vomit these up or they can also be seen in faeces.
Cats may exhibit the following symptoms of roundworm infestation:
- A very full or pot-bellied appearance that occurs in a short amount of time
- Regular vomiting
- Frequent loose stools or diarrhoea
- A decrease in energy or activity
Can worms infect humans?
There are a number of intestinal worms that just love to live inside a pet's tummy. Unfortunately they can be transferred to other family members, including children.
Cat roundworms (namely the Toxocara cati) is more of a concern, particularly in children, where ingestion of the eggs may result in migration of the worm larvae through the body and potential damage. This is much more of a risk with the dog roundworm (Toxocara canis) but can still occur occasionally with Toxocara cati.
Following the intestinal worming care plan outlined below will help control worms in your cat or dog and also help to protect the entire family.
What should I use to worm my pet and how frequently
Worming treatments do not prevent worms, they only kill worms. So it's important to deworm regularly.
A variety of products are available to treat roundworms and tapeworms in pets but they are not all equally effective. For the best advice on the type of worming preparation most suitable for your pet, simply ask one of our healthcare team.
As kittens can be infected with roundworms from a very young age it is important that worming is started early and repeated regularly. Tapeworms are more likely to be a problem in adult cats and at this age less frequent but still regular worming is required.
A suitable protocol for worming cats of all ages is:-
- Kittens from 4 to 16 weeks of age - Treat every two weeks with a product active against roundworms, e.g. pyrantel.
- Cats 6 months of age and older - Treat every two to six months with a product active against both roundworms and tapeworms.
The precise frequency of treatment will depend on likely exposure to tapeworms in particular (for example whether fleas are present and whether the cat hunts).
As a rule, all puppies need to be wormed every two weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every month until 6 months of age. After six months of age an adult dog needs to be wormed every 3 months.
If you have any doubt about worming your pet, please contact us for instructions. There are a number of products on the market, some of which are inferior and we would prefer your pet receives the correct and safe dose. Unless you are using the correct product for your pet and situation you may not only be wasting your money, but also risking the health of your pet.
For more information about pet care visit www.vetwest.com.au/news/the-importance-of-worming-your-pets