Not all pets that are carrying and passing on worm infections are sick, vomiting, coughing, loosing weight, defecating live worms, scooting on the ground, suffering from diarrhoea, or emaciated.

Some intestinal worm species can produce up to 30,000 eggs each day into the pet’s surroundings without causing any clinical signs. As a result, some infected animals can appear healthy and normal.

Roundworms’ live in the intestines and are commonly found in young kittens and puppies as these can be passed from the mother. They can also infect humans, especially children, which can potentially cause blindness.

Juvenile hookworms passed in the faeces infect pets and animals by penetrating through the skin. Once in the intestines, the worms feed on blood. Whipworms also feed on blood in the dog’s intestines.

Animals can get infected with tape-worms by eating raw sheep or goat meat, rabbits or rodents during hunting, or from ingesting fleas. Tapeworm segments passing with the faeces causes itchy bottoms and hence you may see your animal scooting along the floor.

Our feline friends can get infected with lungworm from eating mice, rats or birds. They may show symptoms of coughing, racing heart, weight loss or little or no signs at all but the presence of lungworms will cause scarring of lung tissues.

Most eggs passed from the above intestinal worms can also survive in the environment for several years.

Therefore, it is important to regularly de-worm pets to prevent self-infections, transfer to other animals, and cross-infections to humans especially young children.

You can protect your pet and family by:

  • Using an effective, good quality “all-wormer” every 3 months
  • Flea control (tapeworms are passed on by fleas)
  • Remove faeces from the garden/ yard daily
  • Change cat litter trays daily
  • Good personal hygiene – wash hands after playing with your pet, avoid being licked in the fac
  • Keep kennels clean
  • Cover sandpits
  • Not feeding raw meat or offal to pets