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.
If dogs or cats are allowed to roam, it makes them more susceptible to contracting worms. This happens 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.
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.
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.
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 of age. Thereafter, worming should be done as regularly as every three months. A worming regime is a more cost effective and successful method than treatment.
Heartworm treatment is particularly difficult, involving restricted exercise. If left untreated, it will lead to heart, lung and respiratory problems.
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.
IWCT hugely subsidises the cost of worming treatment. Whilst it would usually cost PHP 250 / 300 at a private clinic, we ask for a nominal fee of PHP30 – 50, depending on whether it is for a dog or cat.
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.
This minimal donation is the beginning of promoting responsible pet ownership. You can be part of that by making a small donation today. You can donate via GCash:
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