Intestinal Worms

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms are relatively common in many animal species including dogs, cats, birds, large animals, rabbits, fish and reptiles. Regular deworming is essential to ensure your pets remain healthy and to reduce the risk of some of these worms being transmitted to people.

Puppies and kittens are often the most susceptible to a worm infestation.  Intestinal worms are spread via dog faeces, so can be picked up anywhere from the backyard to the dog park.  Puppies and kittens sometimes arrive at their new owners home with worms already present.  In very young dogs, or if present in high numbers, intestinal worms can cause gastrointestinal disease, malnutrition and anaemia. Sometimes there may be no obvious signs that your dog has intestinal worms.

Puppies and kittens should be wormed from 2 weeks of age, every 2 weeks, until 12 weeks of age.  Then move to monthly worming until 6 months of age.  After that, worming is required every 3 months.

Pop into the clinic today to grab an intestinal worming product for your pet!  You will then get a reminder when worming is due again, either by text message or email

Important intestinal worms that can affect Australian dogs are:

Roundworm

Tapeworm

Whipworm

Hookworm

Frequent deworming will kill worms that are present, but it is very easy for your pet to become re-infested and so it's important to continue deworming your pet all year round.  Some intestinal worm species can produce large numbers of eggs, for example, roundworm can lay 200,000 eggs per day within five weeks of infestation.  It's important to maintain a regular deworming program for your pets to reduce eggs being shed into the environment. 

 

Cat Tapeworms (Zipper worm) - Spirametra erinacei 

Cats living in the tropics can become severely infected with this parasite if they catch lizards and geckos.  Cats that hunt a lot may need to be dosed for tapeworm once a month if they continually become infected.  The dose of the tapeworm tablet for this parasite is about 4 times the usual tapeworm dose so extra tablets are added to the normal cat wormer.

Can you get worms from your dog?

The short answer is yes, many worms that infest dogs are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans.  Different worms cause different diseases and each have their own symptoms.  Whilst anyone can become infected by intestinal worms, children and the immunocompromised are at greater risk.

How to reduce the risk of human exposure to worms:

 
  • Routine deworming for all pets in your household
  • Prompt disposal of pet faeces on a daily basis
  • Ensure good hygiene. Encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets or prior to eating)
  • Prevent children from ingesting soil or pet faeces
  • Protect playgrounds, garden areas and cover sandpits
  • Always dispose of dog faeces in public parks and playgrounds
  • Prevent your pet from scavenging or hunting.

Please call us to discuss a deworming program for your pet.