Worming your cat or dog is an extremely important part of protecting him or her from harmful parasites that could negatively affect his or her health. A comprehensive worming treatment plan, discussed with your vet, is your best bet against fighting the common types of worm infections that frequently plague cats and dogs.
It’s much easier to prevent worms and parasitic infections than it is to treat an infection after an animal is infested, so being proactive is the best plan of action. You can also buy wormers over the counter and online.
A dog or cat can get worms from a variety of different sources, both inside and outside. Some of the most common sources include infested soil, raw meat, fleas, feces of infested animals, and mosquito bites. Kittens and puppies are also at risk of being infected from their mother during the birthing process. It’s possible for all cats and dogs of any age to get worms, but there are some situations that put dogs and cats at higher risks for worms. Avoid exposing your cat or dog to other animal feces, areas where there may be fleas, or places where a dog or cat could potentially dig or scavenge through contaminated soil or wooded areas.
The different types of worms that most commonly affect dogs and cats are roundworms, tapeworms, heartworms, hookworms and whipworms. A cat or dog may appear perfectly fine, even when they have worms, so it’s tough for many pet owners to discover that their cat or dog has worms. Regular vet visits to test a dog or cats stool for worms is a good way to check that your pet is worm-free. You can also keep a close eye on your pet for any signs that he or she may have worms.
Some signs that may be an indicator that a dog or cat has worms include a lack of energy, weight loss, diarrhea, a dullness of the coat, change of appetite (either increase or decrease), a swollen stomach, and difficulty of breathing. As is the case with any major change in behavior, you should be aware that a change has taken place and contact a vet to see if something could be seriously wrong.
A proper worming schedule set up by your veterinarian will protect your dog or cat from more serious health issues that could come from a worm infestation. Puppies and kittens should be dewormed every two weeks until they are around three months old. Adult cats and dogs should be treated regularly, dependent on their exposure to areas where they could get worms.
Preventative measures will guard against worms, and also intestinal parasites. Talk with a veterinarian about a specific schedule for your pet that works best with your pets lifestyle and needs. Also be sure to have a fecal examination for worms done at least once per year in order to ensure that your pet is healthy and worm-free. It’s much easier to take preventative measures to guard against worms than it is to treat a dog or cat that has worms. Once a dog has worms, the possibility for reinfestation is very high, and all worms, eggs and larvae must be completely killed to ensure reinfestation does not take place.