Deworming Your Pets

By Valdette Muller| November 28, 2017 | Blog

Deworm

Deworming your pet should be a regular health practice. 

Even if pet owners take care of their pets, worms can be hard to avoid.

A severe worm infestation can be fatal for a puppy due to the resulting malnutrition or loss of blood (anaemia).

An infected adult dog may appear completely normal and worm free at first glance, but could still be infected. Once a worm has had time to reproduce and has taken over a body, signs such as a dry, dull coat, diarrhoea, and loss of weight will begin to manifest.

The 4 most common worms that affect our domestic pets are:

  • Round worms
  • Tape Worms
  • Hook worms
  • Whip worms

Worms

How do dogs and cats pick up worms?

  • If your pet licks the ground or drinks contaminated water.
  • If your pet ingests infected fleas, this can transmit tapeworms into their system.
  • If a dog or cat is pregnant as well as infected with worms, the worms can be transmitted through the placenta before birth to the puppies or kittens.
  • Worms can be transmitted through the milk of a infected mother to the unweaned kittens or puppies.
  • Your pet can get it from scavenging and eating raw, rotten animal remains which could be infected by tapeworm from hunting and eating an animal infected with worms, such as wild rats or other rodents.
  • Eating soil/faeces that are infested with worms.

Spirocerca lupi worm!Milbemax_Lrg

Please be aware of the Spirocerca lupi worm. This worm is becoming more prevalent in South Africa — especially in Durban and now Gauteng.

These worms form tumours in the body, often in the oesophagus, making it difficult for dogs and cats to swallow food and water.

Pets can become infected if they eat infected dung beetles, faeces, rats, or birds.Profender_Medium

To avoid infection, owners need to use pills such as Milbemax or spot-on treatments such as Profender monthly.

Infections can be deadly but they can be cured using these products if caught early enough, although prevention is recommended as these cases are often noticed far too late.

Signs that your dog or cat may be infected.

Pets rarely pass worms through their faeces, and even if they do, they can be hard to spot. When they are visible, it is most likely Tapeworm.

Tapeworm segments look like rice grains and are released with the faeces. These worms are more visible than others in the faeces and are also found in and around the anus of the animal.

The other symptoms of a worm infestation are:

  • Bloody stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anaemia (pale gums and eye membranes)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Poor growth in a puppy or kitten
  • Pot-bellied appearance in both young or older pet
  • Coughing
  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Epilepsy

Best ways of prevention.

There are multi-purpose products available at Shinga Pet for the treatment , each with a list of worms that they help prevent.

  • Milbemax (roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm)
  • Drontal (roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms)
  • Triworm dewormer (ascarids, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms)
  • Revolution Spot-On (also effective for fleas, ticks, mange, heartworm, roundworm, lice & ear mites)
  • Advocate (effective on Spirocerca lupi worms, fleas, mange, heartworm & ear mites)

When do I deworm my pets?

Deworming your dog or cat should start with a visit to your local vet.

Adult dogs or cats should be given a dewormer every 3-4  months.

Puppies and kittens should be dewormed every 3 months.

It is also very important to deworm family members at least once a year, especially if you have pets – please speak to your doctor or to your pharmacist about deworming medication for yourself.

To help further prevent infestation to you or your family make sure you:

  • Wash your hands regularly after touching or playing with your pet.
  •  Fence off any areas like vegetable gardens so that your dog or cat may not defecate in this area.
  • Do not let your dog or cat to lick your face.
  • Wash all your vegetables and fruit before eating.
  • Never feed raw meat to your pets – always make sure it is well cooked.

Sources: https://www.pethealthcare.co.za/PetFriendly/Articles/are-you-deworming-your-pet-regularly

http://www.dogworld.co.za/features/spirocerca-lupi.html

http://vetsmart.co.za/content/deworming-your-dog

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