Worms in Cats and Dogs
The most common worms in both Cats and Dogs are the roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms – with only the roundworms and tapeworms visible by eye. The symptoms for these worms can include diarrhoea with blood, weight loss, dry hair, vomiting (maybe with worms) and a general poor appearance.
Roundworms can be gained in a number of ways. This includes the worm being transferred to a puppy or a kitten through the mother’s milk or straight from the uterus through tissues whilst they are pregnant. Animals can also get them from eating egg-bearing stool.
Female roundworms can produce up to 200,000 eggs in one day that have the ability to exist for years in soil due to their hard shell. If left untreated a severe infestation can cause death by intestinal blockage. Roundworms cause potbellies and poor growth for puppies and kittens
Tapeworms are transmitted to dogs and cats that ingest fleas or hunt and eat wildlife and/or rodents infested with tapeworms or fleas. These worms can grow from 4 to 6 inches in length in the intestines and can be seen attached to fur under pet’s tail or around the anus.
How do you treat worms?
Almost all wormers work only on adult worms in cats and dogs in the intestinal tract, therefore they wouldn’t be 100% effective as they don’t kill larvae. Also, not all worms respond to the same treatment and no single wormer works against all kinds of parasites. Worms can be prevented by regular flea treatment on a dog or on a cat as worms can be transmitted via fleas. However, if a problem is noticed a trip to the vets is recommended to try and get medication strong enough to kill both adult and larvae worms.