Worms are a relatively common occurrence in pets, both cats and dogs. They can cause a lot of discomfort and make your animal sick. Fortunately, they can be easily prevented. Here is everything that you need to know.
How often should I de-worm my pets?
You should speak to an experienced vet, such as those from heartandpaw.com, regarding how often you need to be de-worming your pets. However, on average, it is recommended that you de-worm your pets at least three times per year, and preferably every three months. This is especially important if your animals spend a lot of time outdoors, in public parks, and playing with other animals as all of these factors will increase their risk of developing an infestation.
What are the symptoms of worms in pets?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not always possible to see intestinal worms in the animal’s feces with the naked eye. Even if you can see worms in the feces, this is a sign that the infestation has reached a critical level and that veterinary attention is required to resolve the problem urgently. Other earlier symptoms to watch out for include:
- Reduced appetite and a general lack of interest in food.
- Sudden and significant weight loss.
- Frequent bouts of diarrhea, often with specks of blood.
- Straining to defecate, but often to no avail.
- A dry, lackluster coat.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is evident that your dog or cat is unwell even if worms are not the underlying cause. So, either way, be sure to get him or her to the vet for a check-up sooner rather than later.
What are the different types of worms?
Four main types of worms tend to affect cats and dogs. They are:
Only tapeworms and roundworms will be visible to the naked eye.
How dangerous are worms?
Worms are quite severe as they can result in several awful symptoms, and nobody wants to see their beloved pet suffer. Some types of worms can even lead to respiratory problems, and brain, lung, and liver damage. However, they are rarely deadly. Only in very rare cases can worms prove fatal. This may be the case if the infected animal is especially young or old, or if he or she is suffering from another health condition that may weaken his or her immune system.
Can my family be affected by worms?
Yes. If you or another family member come into contact with an infected pet’s feces or saliva. Therefore, it is essential to de-worm every single member of the family at the same time as de-worming the pets at least three times per annum.
How is a worm infestation treated?
If you suspect a worm infestation in one or more of your pets, your first stop should be the vet. He or she will test for the presence of worms and, if detected, follow up with de-worming medication which should sort the problem out quickly.
The bottom line? Prevention is better than cure! De-worm your animals regularly and visit your vet for check-ups every six – 12 months.