There are two broad categories of worms that may affect our pet dogs and cats, intestinal worms and heartworms. Please see the Heartworm page for more information on heartworms.
Worming is one of the first health care issues pet owners need to address, because pups and kittens are the most susceptible.
As their name suggests, intestinal worms are parasites that live inside an animal's intestines. These worms range in size. Regardless of their size however, they all have negative, and potentially deadly effects.
Most species of animal, as well as humans, can be infected with intestinal worms, including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, fish, birds and reptiles.
Common intestinal worms in Australian pets are:
If your pet has a large number of worms, they may find it difficult to maintain body condition and can lose weight. In some cases, it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even anaemia (a low red blood cell level). Occasionally, heavy intestinal worm burdens can eventually cause death.
Worms sometimes have complex life-cycles which involve a period of existence and development outside your pet. Understanding the life-cycle of a specific worm is important so that strategies for treatment and prevention can be designed and implemented. For instance, some tapeworms need to pass through fleas to complete their lifecycle, so flea prevention is an important method of controlling tapeworms.
It's important to maintain a routine worming treatment for your pets, to reduce the incidence of infection and to reduce environmental contamination.
There are many worming treatments available for the various worm infections that occur in our pets. These are available as tablets, spot-ons or pastes.
Re-infection is a common problem, particularly in pets that are in contact with a heavily-contaminated environment.
Another important reason to worm your pets is to protect the family, as children in particular can be affected by certain dog and cat worms.
Below are some tips to consider regarding worm prevention:
Promptly clean up pet faeces
Practice good hygiene
Keep your pet's environment clean
Always dispose of dog faeces when in public parks and playgrounds
Please call us to discuss an intestinal worming program for your pet.