Joey's Tuesday Tip – Intestinal Worms | Gordon Vet
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Joey’s Tuesday Tip – Intestinal Worms

By Scott Lackenby | Dated June 10, 2014

Hey everyone! Did you all have a good long weekend? I hope so. I’m going to chat to you today about some pesky little parasites, intestinal worms. The four we worry about for us 4 legged critters are Roundworms, Hookworms, Whip worms and Tapeworms. And here’s a little about them:

Roundworms: most puppies and kittens are born with microscopically small roundworm larvae which they get from their Mum. Roundworm can also be transmitted via the Mums milk. The larvae migrate to the intestinal track where they can grow up to 12th in length. The shed eggs and make their home in the small intestine. These eggs can pass in the stool and if the stool is eaten, it can re infect the animal or other animal who eats the stool. When the eggs hatch, larvae are released and they migrate to the animals lungs where they are coughed up and swallowed and grow into adults in the small intestines. Infected pups and kittens have a pot bellied appearance and a poor growth rate. Worms may also be seen in the vomit or in the stools. If untreated, severe infestation can cause death by intestinal blockage. Roundworms can be transmitted to humans

Hookworms: more common in dogs than in cats, Hookworms attach to the wall of the small intestine and such blood. Dogs become infected via their mother, from coming into contact with larvae in contaminated soil from stools or from ingestion. Like roundworm hookworm can also be transferred in the mother’s milk. Hookworm infestation can lead to severe anemia from blood loss, which can be fatal. Dogs with hookworm will have a lack of energy, bloody diahrrea, weight loss or poor weight gain. Hookworm can be transmitted to humans.

Whipworm: like hookworm, Whipworms are more common in dogs. They look like tiny pieces of thread with an enlarged end, although they are rarely seen in the stool. They live in the first section of the large intestine, called the Cecum. They are hard to diagnose as Whipworms shed small numbers of eggs so several stool samples are often needed to make a diagnosis. Symptoms include chronic weight loss. Stools will often be passed with a covering of mucous. Whipworm is most common in dogs who live in a kennel situation or in areas where Whipworm are prevalent. Whipworm is not transferable to humans.

Tapeworm: transmitted to dogs and cats who ingest fleas when grooming. Tapeworm can grow up to 15th in length and are made up of as many 90 segments. The last segment is released and can be seen in the stool or around the anus. Tapeworm is often diagnosed simply by seeing the worm segment, which look like small grains of rice. This segment contains the eggs. Tapeworm can be transferred to humans.

So, what can you do to prevent your pet from picking up these pesky parasites? Make sure you treat us with a tummy wormer regularly. Puppies and kittens need to be wormed at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age, then every month until they are 6 months of age and then we need to be wormed every 3months FOR LIFE. A good way to remember to worm us is to treat us at the change of every season. Our good friends at Novartis are having a special on their worm treatment Milbemax. When you buy 3 tablets you get a fourth tablet free! So pop in and pick some up.

Better go but I’ll catch you all on Thursday with my belated Staff Member of the Month. Meows for now, love Joey xox

Scott Lackenby
Written by Scott Lackenby

Scott joined the team at Gordon Vets in 1999, where he was immediately impressed with the high standard of customer service. Scott is very popular amongst clients for his kind hearted approach to pet care and his great sense of humour. His particular areas of interest are endocrinology and dermatology.

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