Worming in the Philippines

By Kaytie Grant

What dog and cat owners need to know about worming and how we are helping.

Worming Programme

A worming programme is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. Worms are intestinal parasites which, if left untreated, can cause illness, injury, disease or even death of a pet. 

In the Philippines, a lot of dogs and cats are allowed to roam. This makes them more susceptible to contracting worms through contact with another infected animal or eating larvae on raw meat or picking eggs up from the ground or grass. 

The most common type of worm are:

  • Hookworm (dogs only, contracted from mother’s milk or licking infected surfaces such as dirt or faeces)
  • Whipworm (picked up from ingesting infected substances like meat or faeces)
  • Roundworm (transmitted from a mother to a puppy or by eating an infected host such as a rabbit)
  • Tapeworm (caused by ingesting fleas)
  • Heartworm (transmitted by mosquitos) 

Roundworm is the most common of the above and can also be transmitted to humans. 

Symptoms

The most common symptoms are the scooting of a dog or cat across the ground on their bottom. Other symptoms include a bloated tummy, weight loss, vomiting, anaemia, lethargy or blood in a stool. 

Diagnosis

Tapeworms can be seen in an infected dog or cat’s faeces. Other types of worm are diagnosed by viewing a faecal sample under a microscope.  Some types of worm, such as heartworm, can be diagnosed from a blood test. We have our own microscope at the Treatment Centre and get fast turn around times from a local laboratory for blood samples.

Treatment

Prevention is better than cure. Puppies and kittens should be wormed from approx two weeks old. This should be repeated at 4 weeks and 8 weeks. Thereafter, worming should be done as regularly as every three months. A worming regime is a more cost effective and successful method than treatment.
We give out free worming and vaccination cards to help remind owners of when their pet is due for worming.

Heartworm treatment is particularly difficult, involving restricted exercise. If left untreated, it will lead to heart, lung and respiratory problems.  

Best practice

Don’t let your dog or cat roam away from home. It is more likely to come into contact with an infected animal, food or faeces if you allow it to wander the streets or open areas. 

Clean up after your dog or cat and dispose of faeces responsibly. If everyone removed their pet’s stools from public areas, the smaller the chances of a dog or cat coming into contact with worm eggs.

Keep your dog or cat’s bedding, water and feed bowls and cages or crates clean and regularly disinfected. Always wash your hands after cleaning up after your dog. 

As tapeworm eggs can be transmitted by fleas, it is also important to regularly apply flea treatment to your pet.

Eggs and larvae can live in warm, moist environments for up to five years, making them hard to eradicate. This is why regular worming is so important.

Worming costs

We hold twice weekly clinics where our volunteer vets consult owners and administer wormers to dogs and cats.

IWCT ask for a minimal fee for providing wormers to dog or cat owners. The equivalent of about 50p whereas in private clinics it would cost about five times the amount. Not only do we teach pet owners the importance of worming through this low cost treatment, we also explain other areas of responsible pet ownership, such as rabies vaccinations and spay or neuter surgery. 

A minimal donation towards worming is the beginning of promoting responsible pet ownership. You can be part of that by making a small donation today. You can donate here.

Thank you.   

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