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WORMING CATS AND DOGS

 

WORMING YOUR CAT AND DOG

[ Up ] [ Fleas ] [ Sterilization ] [ Worming ] [ Pup Birth ]

From the Mirrabooka Veterinary Hospital

Why should I worm my pet?

The most common intestinal worms that can cause illness in dogs and cats in Western Australia are roundworms, bookworms and tapeworms. In some cases, infected pets may provide a source of infection for their owners.

(a) Roundworms

These are the most common intestinal worms found in puppies and kittens.

The worms may cause weight loss, a "pot-bellied" appearance, diarrhoea and vomiting and occasionally adult worms may be vomited or passed in the stool. Young pets usually acquire worms from their environment or from their mothers. Roundworm eggs are shed in the infected pet's stool and a diagnosis is made by examining a fresh sample under the microscope.

(b) Hookworms

The main symptoms of hookworm infestation are diarrhoea which may be blood stained and weight loss. Occasionally, blood loss may be severe resulting in anaemia and weakness. Like roundworms, hookworm eggs are passed in the infected pet's stool and a diagnosis can be made by examining a fresh sample under the microscope.

(c) Tapeworm

The tapeworm is a parasite with a characteristic "flat" shape. The head of the tapeworm attaches to the intestine and segments of its body are shed and passed in the stool. Tapeworm infestation may produce diarrhoea, poor coat condition and weight loss. Diagnosis may be made by finding worm segments in your pet's stool or clinging to the hair around the anal region. They may appear as white to yellow

(d) Heartworm - see Heartworm information leaflet.

Most ordinary worm tablets do not protect against heartworm and special tablets are required after advice from your veterinarian. It is dangerous or can be fatal to commence heartworm treatment before a veterinarian blood tests your dog.

What can I do to protect my pet?

Effective and safe preparations are available for treatment of these worms from your local veterinarian.

(a) Because a pregnant cat or dog can be a source or infection for their young, it is advisable to worm them. Your veterinarian can recommend preparations that are safe for pregnant and nursing pets.

(b) The young puppy or kitten should be wormed for round and hookworm every         2 - 3 weeks from 2 - 4 weeks of age until they are at least 16 weeks old. Treatment of tapeworm should be carried out at 3 months.

(c) Adult dogs and cats should be wormed every 3 - 6 months. Treatment for tapeworms should include destroying the parasites already infesting your pet and controlling re-infestation by eliminating the intermediate hosts.

(d) Any adult dog in contact with young of their species have a greater risk of contracting intestinal worms, and should be treated at the same time as the puppies or kittens.

(e) Heartworm prevention - see Heartworm information leaflet        obtainable from your local Vet.

Up ] Fleas ] Steralization ] [ Worming ] Pup Birth ]

 

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