The War on Worms

Sometimes, ensuring your pet receives their regular worming treatment, can be an uphill struggle. Cats, in particular, can be quite reluctant when it comes to taking part in this necessary worming activity (we have experienced many a sharp claw and human blood loss over the years in the worming battle!). In order to worm successfully, many pet owners often have to employ a crafty strategy to help guarantee success!

Worms can’t be vaccinated against, so ensuring that you worm your pets on a regular basis will help to ensure they remain free of worms and are protected.

There are some major worm types that all pet owners need to be aware of in order to help safeguard their anipals.



Tapeworms

These can often be seen around the tail end location of cats and live in the intestines of animals; by shedding smaller mobile ‘segments’, they are contained within the faeces of your pet. These segments will then be subject to a ‘breaking down’ process which allows the eggs to escape into the surrounding environment around humans and other animals.

Other ‘hosting’ animals can then eat the eggs produced, such as smaller rodents (mice for instance) and even our arch enemy, the flea. Most cat owners have found an unwelcome mouse in their home first thing in the morning, so if your cat is a particularly adept mouse hunter, they are at risk of acquiring tapeworms from such infected rodents. Our pets can also swallow any fleas on their coat as they carry out the grooming process and if egg-eating fleas are present and swallowed during the groom, they can become infected once again with tapeworms.

Roundworms

Like Tapeworms, these worms (for example, ‘Toxocara’) dwell within the intestines of dogs and cats. Your kitten or puppy is at particular risk of this problem as they are prone to roundworm infections when they ingest the larvae from their mother’s milk supply.

The roundworm reproduces itself by shredding many eggs (which are thousands in number) within the small intestine area of your pet. Like the tapeworm, these eggs then escape into the environment, ‘housed’ within the animal’s faeces which cause contamination to the surrounding areas.

Roundworm eggs are able to infect within just a small amount of weeks and pets are at risk of become infected again if they ingest these eggs, which is particularly so when they are engaged within the natural grooming they require. To human owners, the eggs also pose a risk as they can be swallowed by accident – via food, soil or from the coat of a pet for instance.

Lungworm

Keen gardeners will know that the lungworm can be a real problem in the garden and the commonly seen snail and slug can host lungworm. So, be especially vigilant if your dog has a habit of crunching down the odd snail now and again or has a taste for slugs as they might become infected! Dogs, (as many dog owners will attest to!) are often seen eating grass and can also acquire lungworms accidentally when they lick or eat that grass.

Lungworm infection can be very serious and sometimes even fatal in nature (can go on to produce heart and lung disorders or bleeding), so prompt treatment and advice from your vet is vital. Proper and regular use of a wormer that has been approved for lungworm use can give your pet protection against the lungworm.

Human Hygiene

For us humans though, effective hand washing and hygiene is vital too. This helps to ensure we are not unwitting victims of any unwanted worm varieties that are ever present around our pets.

Always ensure that you use a regular wormer (there are many different types available) that has been prescribed via your vet, who will also advise of the correct dose and treatment regime you should be following.

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