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Worming

Puppies and kittens

They are often infested with roundworms from birth and can re-infest their mother from about three weeks of age. This is via the passage of eggs within the faeces from the puppy or kitten. In the young worms can inhibit growth and in severe cases result in “stunting”. It is also possible for some worms to migrate through body tissue causing damage on route. Tapeworms are less of a problem in young animals. The commonest sources of tapeworm infestation are from fleas (thus flea control is important), eating raw meat and wild animals. Thus tapeworm infestation is more likely to be associated with adult dog and cat lifestyles. Nevertheless puppies and kittens can be infested with tapeworm.

There are many worming products on the market with different protocols depending on the active ingredient and the age of the pet. Many products contain very old drugs and are not very effective. More modern products are usually more effective, easier to administer, safer and need less frequent dosing. Please ask for our advice on the best current products to use (as a guide puppies and kittens will usually need worming approximately every four weeks).

Adult dogs and cats

Can be infested with both roundworms and tapeworms. Modern multi-wormers will deal with both groups (and also lungworms – although this is not especially common in the UK). The current recommendation by the British Veterinary Association and the World Health Organization is to worm pets over 6 months of age four times per year (ie, every 3 months).

Human health

There is a risk to humans of being infested with worms from dogs and cats. This most commonly occurs in children and can be minimized by teaching children good pet hygiene practice (eg, washing hands before eating, not allowing the pet to lick their face, etc) and by regular worming – hence the recommendation by WHO to worm every three months.

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