To worm or not to worm?

We worm our pets regularly but do we know what we are treating for? Intestinal worms cause your pet discomfort and irritation and some worms can be transferred to us owners.

There are a few ways that your pet could be infected with intestinal worms:

  • Through contact with infected faeces
  • Swallowing fleas infected with tapeworm
  • Nursing from an infected mother
  • By drinking contaminated water
  • From eating infected meat. Eg. rodents or frogs that are infected
  • Coming into contact with another infected pet

Most puppies and kittens are born with intestinal worms which have passed from the mother via the placenta, so it is important to treat them regularly. 

Puppies and kittens need to be treated every 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age up until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age and after 6 months they need to be treated every 3 month for the rest of their lives.  Worm treatments cannot prevent infection they can only kill the worms already there.

Tapeworms look like a grain of rice and can be seen in faeces or around the bottom of the animal. It can cause irritation and you may see your dog to scoot their bottoms along the ground. If passed onto humans, tapeworm can cause serious problems such as gastrointestinal upsets.

Roundworms are long white worms that resemble noodles or spaghetti. These worms can cause a pot-bellied appearance, diarrhoea, vomiting and poor growth. Roundworm is the most common worm that could be passed onto humans.

Hookworm and whipworm are harder to see but both can cause diarrhoea, and in the case of hookworm can cause anaemia in pups. Hookworms can be passed onto humans.

It is never too late to start treatment for intestinal worms. If you are unsure or need further advice, please come in for a chat or give us a call. 

Visit these links to learn more about worms and your pet.