South Africa

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Protect your family and pets from intestinal worms

Prevention is always better than cure

The importance of prevention when it comes to controlling intestinal worms in cats and dogs cannot be overstated. Some of the worms that infect pets can also pose a significant risk to humans’ health; examples of these are the roundworm and hydatid tapeworm. Deworming your own pets regularly will greatly reduce the likelihood of these worms posing a threat to your family.

It is generally recommended that dogs and cats be dewormed regularly, which would be every three months as adults. Kittens and puppies have to be dewormed more frequently until they are six months old; in fact, it is recommended that they are dewormed every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old and thereafter, every month until they are six months old.

Pregnant and nursing queens and bitches have to be dewormed more frequently to reduce the likelihood of passing roundworm infection on to their young through either the placenta or the milk.

Dogs in areas of hydatid tapeworm should also be dewormed more frequently.

How can you tell if your pet has worms?

It is not always easy. The only way to be sure is to examine the faeces regularly and check for the presence of eggs. However, there are some common signs that may suggest your pet has worms, and these include the following:

  • Anaemia (pale gums).
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Pot-bellied appearance (especially kittens and puppies)
  • Weight loss, despite a healthy appetite.
  • Faeces that contain white segments.
  • Scooting.
  • Dull coat.

If you are unsure whether your pet has worms, consult your veterinarian. They will be able to help with a firm diagnosis and advise you on how to treat your pet.

Preventative treatment

The best way to prevent worms is a regular and appropriate deworming regime right from the start.

Preventative treatment is the best way to ensure that your pets are always protected from the risk of transmitting diseases. In addition, you will be reducing contamination of the environment with infective eggs and larvae that pose a threat to the health of both animals and humans.

Guide for the prevention and treatment of worms in dogs

Age

Treatment Frequency

2 to 12 weeks

Every 2 weeks

12 weeks to 6 months

Monthly

6 months +

Every 3 months (but every 6 weeks in hydatid areas)

 

Guide for the prevention and treatment of worms in cats

Age

Treatment Frequency

2 to 12 weeks

Every 2 weeks

12 weeks to 6 months

Monthly

6 months +

Every 3 months

 

The above is a general guide to worm treatment. Breeding animals, animals in particular situations or conditions, or different types of worms may require specific treatment regimes. In these cases, consult a veterinarian.

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