Local Leaders | Braidwood Vet Surgery: What to do about intestinal worms

One of the easiest ways to keep your cat or dog healthy is by implementing a regular preventative health program against intestinal parasites (worms that live in your pets’ gut). 

Katie Lyons

Katie Lyons

Intestinal worms can cause poor growth, a dull coat, coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea, anaemia, scooting, and even death, which we see regularly in young puppies. 

Puppies and kittens should be wormed fortnightly until three months of age, then monthly until six months of age. After this they should be wormed every three months for life. To remember to worm your cat or dog every three months, we recommend you do so on the first day of each season (such as the first day of autumn). Following these intervals can assist with eliminating some of the worms that have a very short life cycle, such as tapeworm, who can reinfect your pet within six weeks.

Pregnant and lactating pets should be wormed regularly, and at least two weeks prior to their expected due date. This ensures that the mother does not pass worms through to the offspring by either the placenta or milk. 

Many of the worms that pets carry can be caught by humans. These include hookworm, roundworm and tapeworm. Two of the specific tapeworms that humans can catch from either their pet or the environment are the flea tapeworm and the hydatid tapeworm.

To prevent intestinal worms, we recommend using a broad-spectrum wormer, which are available in many formulations including tablets, chewables and spot-on treatments. To ensure they work effectively, it is important to check you are treating your pet for their correct weight, or just above.