Worms are a huge threat to your pet's well-being. There are two types of worms: internal (living inside the body) and external (affecting the outer body mainly the skin), however, internal worms are far more deadly. Your pet can become infected with tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and heartworms. Some of these parasites are not only a threat to pets but also to humans. Zoonotic worms can be passed on to humans who have a weakened immune system like pregnant women, children, and seniors. To keep your loyal companion safe, we recommend regular deworming.
How often is deworming necessary?
Deworming is a lifelong process and should take place at various points in your pet's life. Here are the instances when your pet should be dewormed:
- As puppies and kittens. At 4-6 weeks old they should be dewormed and continued every two weeks until they are 3 months old.
- Seasonal deworming for adult dogs once every 3 or 4 months.
- Indoor cats should be dewormed every 4 months or twice annually.
- Outdoor cats need deworming twice each year or every three months based on the veterinarian's recommendation.
- Pregnant pets should be dewormed regularly during pregnancy.
How do cats and dogs get worms?
Pets can get worms in many ways. As a pup or kitten, there is a risk of them getting worms from their mother's milk and even during pregnancy. Larvae can migrate to the placenta or mammary gland and be passed on. Pets also get worms when they come in contact with feces from infected animals. For hunting animals and even cats, they can become infected when they eat prey like mice. There is also a chance that they get infected when they play in contaminated soil or ingest parasite eggs.
What are signs that my pet has worms?
It is not always distinct when your pet has worms. Some worms will attack their physical body, while others live inside them, so the signs begin to show much later. By the time you notice symptoms, it could mean that your pet has been infected for much longer. This is why they should be dewormed regularly! Your pet may have:
- Bloated or swollen abdomen
- Bloody or soft stool
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Dry, persistent cough
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Dragging their behinds
Your pet needs immediate veterinary attention if you see any of these symptoms. If left untreated, they can pass worms to your family, and in severe cases, they may die from the infection. Please call us at 519-285-2116 to book an appointment.