3 Worm Worries


The wriggly worms your furry friend can contract could actually pose a threat to you as a pet-owner. Roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm including hydatid and flea tapeworm, are the main parasitic worms our pet’s are susceptible to and they do pose a zoonotic risk – the potential for the disease to be transferred from animal to human. Children are especially at risk of becoming infected, because they are more likely to be exposed to, or accidently ingest contaminated soil or animal faeces. Zoonosis is serious, as these worms wish to live inside a cat or dog’s stomach, so if they are accidently consumed and develop inside the human body; the health implications for a person are shocking. Roundworm larvae for example, will hatch in the intestine before migrating upwards through abdominal organs, damaging the lungs, sometimes even reaching the brain and causing blindness.  Hydatid tapeworm embryos travel through your bloodstream, causing cysts to form inside organs such as your liver or kidneys. These cysts can cause organ failure or if burst the ensuing allergic reaction can be potentially life-threatening. To remove these cysts surgery or chemotherapy is required. Hookworm larvae travel through a person’s body and their tracks are visible through the ski as inflamed, red, itchy paths and causes anaemia.  Worm control products are available to prevent your pet from contracting these parasites, which in turn will minimise the zoonotic risk to your family. So remember, by worming your pet regularly, you will not only be protecting your pet-ticular friend, but your entire family.

Wormy signs

Many gastrointestinal worms, such as whipworm, tapeworm, hookworm and roundworm, may cause your pet to display these common symptoms and signs:
  • Worms visible in pet’s stool or vomit
  • Diarrhoea
    4 types of gastrointestinal worms affect our pets

  • Anaemia
  • Vomiting
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Dull coat
  • Weakness
  • Itchy area around the back
  • Scooting (using their forepaws to drag their rear across the ground, which may offer relief from an itch)

Worm Control

Worm control is vital for both the health of your pet and your family. There are many worm prevention products available that offer your pet protection from a variety of worms, such as Drontal Allwormers, which protect your pet from the four main types of gastrointestinal worms. As your pet grows, you should alter your de-worming practices appropriately. Generally, it is recommended that both puppies and kittens be de-wormed at 2 weeks of age, as they may have contracted worms from their mother. Another precautionary measure is to treat breeding bitches prior to mating, 10 days before whelping and again 2, then 4 weeks after whelping. It is commonly suggested that pet owners continue to treat their puppy or kitten for worms every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Worm control should then be practiced every 3 months until they are six months of age. As an adult dog or cat, pets typically only require worm control every 3 months. 

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