Worms are commonly found in pets. But fortunately, they are also very treatable. Most of pet owners select to treat their fur babies with a de-worming treatment on a regular basis. This is done to prevent the pet from suffering with potential health problems. The great news is that these de-worming treatments are easily available in the market without any recommendation from the veterinarian. But if you still have any apprehension about a particular treatment, you can always consult with your vet and then select the best one.
The most common signs of worms in pets include: sudden weight loss and poor coat quality. But it can also be due to other medical problems. Hence, it is recommended to seek veterinary advice, if your pet shows the signs of worms, so that he can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Let us now look at some of the questions that you should ask your veterinarian to determine whether your fur baby is suffering from worms:
Questions To Determine Pet Is Suffering From Worms
Q 1: How Does My Pet Acquire Worms?
A: It has been found that puppies and kittens acquire worms from their mother, who passes these internal parasites through her placenta to the babies, even before they are actually born. This transfer happens when she nurses the babies. This very reason makes it important to worm puppies, kittens and their mothers on a regular basis. But not even newborns, but also mature dogs and cats can acquire these unwanted parasites through:
- Catching preys like mice and snails
- Digesting fleas or the feces of other animals
- Eggs implanted in the soil after your pet has defecated in it
Q 2: What Are The Different Types Of Worms Affecting Dogs And Cats?
A : There are four different types of digestive worms affecting dogs and cats:
Let us look at each of these in detail:
Roundworms fester in the intestines, and can grow a maximum of half a foot in length. Hookworms hook to the intestinal walls of the pet resulting in anemia or bloody stools as a result of bleeding in the bowel. Whipworms reside in the large intestine of the pet and are so thin that it is difficult to see them through naked eyes and microscopically. While tapeworms are flat. There are times when parts of tapeworm break off and stick to the anus of the pet. These pieces can be seen through naked eyes and resemble like grains of rice. Out of these four types of worms, only roundworms and tapeworms are visible through naked eyes. Hence, it is extremely critical to take your pet to the vet to evaluate their stool sample through a microscope if you suspect an infestation.
Q 3: How Do I Know Whether My Pet Is Suffering From Worms?
A : It is an intricate task to visibly see worms in your fur baby. But you can watch out for these signs as a clue of worms in your pet:
- Bloated stomach / belly that appears out of nowhere
- Dry hair / poor appearance
- Frequent loose stools / diarrhea, that can have blood in it. This can also indicate critical conditions which might require an immediate veterinary attention
- Regular vomiting, that includes vomiting worms
- Scratching or rubbing against the ground or furniture, particularly around the rear. This can even indicate anal gland in which case you need to call your vet
- Visible worms / eggs in the feces, worms in the fur or around the rear
- Weight loss / decrease in activity, appetite or energy, as the worms take up all the nutrition from the pet
- None at all. There are times when the worm eggs or larvae hide in the body of the pet and stir only during stress
Q 4: What Is The Procedure For Diagnosing Worms In Dogs & Cats?
A : The veterinarian conducts fecal examinations on a regular basis. But if the symptoms mentioned above are present since the last vet visit, then a stool sample will be tested by your vet.
Q 5: What Is The Procedure For Treating Worms In Dogs & Cats?
A : De-worming treatments are utilized to treat the pet and are usually sold over the counter. If you are confused with the selection, consult with your veterinarian who would suggest you the one that is best for treating the worms in your furry companion. Remember, each worm has its own exclusive treatment, hence, no single de-worming treatment can cure all the worms.
Q 6: What Should Be Frequency Of De-worming My Pet?
A : Veterinarians in our country recommend pet owners to regularly de-worm their pets. Remember, these parasites can even harm people. Hence, by following a proper de-worming frequency it will not only keep your furry pal happy and healthy, but also protect your entire family. Let us now look at the guidelines to follow for scheduling the de-worming procedure for your pet. This time is totally contingent on the type of pet, hence you should always confirm this timeline with your veterinarian.
- Puppies & Kittens: Every 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age till they turn 3 months. Then every month till they are 6 months of age and then again at 1 year.
- Adult Dogs & Cats: Twice a year for their entire lifespan
- Strictly Indoor Cats: On a yearly basis
- Cats That Like To Hunt: A maximum of 3 times on a yearly basis
- Adopted Dogs & Cats: Promptly, with a minimum of 2 more treatments every 2 weeks
Now, that you are aware of the questions that you need to ask your veterinarian about worms, please ensure that your fur baby is protected from these internal parasites by treating them regularly with a proper de-worming treatment.