Dogs

Dogs

Worms, Worms, Worms

 

We all know about the parasites that we can see on our pet dogs and cats like fleas and ticks. But we don’t often think about the parasites we can’t see, the worms that can live inside our pet’s intestines. Both cats and dogs have their own collection of worm species that live in the gut causing a variety of problems for the pet.

 

Some of these worms, like roundworms and tapeworms, interfere with normal digestion of the pet’s food. This can lead to diarrhoea and loss of weight despite eating enough food. Other types of worms, such as whipworms and hookworms, can do extensive damage to the lining of the pet’s intestines making it unable to absorb nutrients properly and even leading to significant blood loss. While problems digesting food and weight loss may not sound like serious health problems, if there are enough worms in the gut of a pet their effects can be life threatening. All ages of animals can be severely affected by worms, however puppies and kittens are particularly at risk of dying due to the impacts of worms. When this happens it is made all the more sad by the fact that it could easily have been prevented.

 

All of these intestinal worms can be prevented by appropriate use of a complete worming tablet. It is important to check that the de-worming product that you are using covers all the major groups of worms mentioned above. Adult dogs and cats should be wormed every 3 months. Puppies and kittens should be wormed every week from 2 to 6 weeks of age, fortnightly till 12 weeks of age, monthly till 6 months than every 3 months as for adults. This may sound like a lot, but as mentioned above puppies and kittens are much more susceptible to the tragic effects of worms and their immature immune systems need this extra support. It is also important for the mother to be up to date with her own worming treatments to stop her from giving worms to the puppies or kittens. As well as a number of tablet brands there are also available monthly spot on treatments that can be used in pets older than 7 weeks, however these products may not treat for tapeworm so an additional tablet will have to be given every 3 months. If this all sounds a bit confusing drop into the Clinic one day and the friendly girls at the counter will be happy to help you with any questions.

 

Keeping up to date with de-worming products is particularly important in dogs that might be fed or have access to sheep carcases or offal. The Hydatid tapeworm adult lives in the intestine of dogs. However, it’s cysts can be transmitted to any other mammals including sheep, cattle and even people. In people the condition can be life-threatening. Consequently it is vital to control this tapeworm in dogs and just as important to never feed sheep offal to dogs.

 

 

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