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Why is worming so important

Worming is a vital part of pet healthcare – in fact, it is important for both pet and family health. Roundworm parasites, called Toxocara, live in the digestive system of dogs and cats, and release their eggs in the faeces of infected animals.

Worms in puppies

Puppies can potentially be carrying worms from birth. They inherit worms from their mother, and so will already have worms when they are born, and then will get more worms from their mother’s milk. If puppies haven’t been given a de-wormer early – from around two weeks old – they can have a lot of worms by the time they’re eight weeks of age. Worms that survive in a puppy will lay thousands of eggs, and this can make the puppy quite ill.

Out and About

So how do our cats and dogs get worms? Not surprisingly, it’s when our pets are out and about that they can pick up worms.

For dogs, it can be from:

  • Their mothers, as puppies
  • Other pets
  • Eating slugs or snails
  • Coming into contact with animal faeces – the eggs last a long time, so there’ll be many worms on the ground.

And for cats:

  • Also from their mothers
  • By eating eggs found in their environment
  • Larvae in the environment can burrow into their skin

How do I know if my pet has worms?

Signs to look out for are the following:

  • Visible worms in your pet’s faeces
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • Health risk

Not only are worms bad for your pet’s health, but they are also a significant health risk to humans. People can ingest the eggs after handling soil, sand or litter trays with infected faeces, so quick, hygienic removal of pet faeces is extremely important. Although rare, roundworm parasites can cause an infection called toxocariasis, which amongst other symptoms, can cause eye problems – children are more at risk as they are more likely to come into contact with contaminated soil.

Worm medicine

Prevention is better than cure, so the best thing to do is treat your pet regularly at appropriate intervals to make sure that worms never get to a level where they’re going to cause any harm. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best worming regime for your pet. The de-wormer that your vet can provide will be far more effective than those available in pet shops or the supermarket.

If you have any worries or concerns regarding your pet’s worm medicine, please contact your vet for advice.

If you have an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Agria Vet Guide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health.

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