Parasitic worms are as common as fleas to your pet, especially in puppies and kittens. From half inch long hookworms to 3 feet long flat tapeworms, worms can also be transmitted to people in certain cases.
Infection often goes unnoticed but ignoring possible symptoms and necessary treatments can lead to potentially serious illness.
The most common worms are roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.
Above images courtesy of the US Center for Disease Control
Minor infections can be of little significance, but nearly all these parasites will induce serious disease if present in overwhelming numbers. Many animals have a degree of immunity, but if stressed the numbers of worms can increase from a small harmless population to a large threatening one.
Clinical signs can vary depending on the type of worm but include gastrointestinal disturbances, coughing, weakness, weight loss, anaemia, and a swollen abdomen in pups or kittens.
All animals should be regularly treated for roundworms and tapeworms.
Recommended deworming schedule for puppies and kittens
|4 weeks - 12 weeks||Wormed every 2 weeks|
|12 weeks onwards||Wormed 2 to 4 times a year|
Puppies and kittens should be treated every 2 weeks from 4 weeks of age until 12 weeks of age. Thereafter, they should be wormed 2 to 4 times a year for the rest of their lives.
A variety of deworming medications are available. Download our deworming information sheet or consult your veterinary surgeon regarding one that would best suit the needs of your pet.
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