Worming your pet is essential in not only protecting their health, but also yours as there is a risk of contracting worms from cats and dogs if they happen to have them. Many people are unaware of this, which is why it is important to understand not only how you can get intestinal parasites from animals, but also how you get rid of them if you happen to have them.
Even the healthiest, cleanest looking animals can carry worms, which is why it is important to regularly worm them. Worms can cause illness and suffering to your pets with the possibility of severe conditions leading to death. Worms that spread between pets and people cause diseases.
At times, it can be hard to recognise an infection as the infected animals won’t show any outward signs, so it’s important you pick up on symptoms quickly. If your pet is infected you may see worms in their faeces or vomit. Common symptoms to look out for are if your pet starts to lose weight, an increased appetite, fur becomes coarse and dry, weakness and diarrhoea. Severe cases may result in infected puppies and kittens having distended abdomens.
Always treat your pets with high-quality products that will control the infestation. Your best bet would be to buy products from a vet run supplier. One supplier I’ve found is www.petdrugsonline.co.uk, a business in the UK that was set up by vets to help keep the cost of pet care low, whilst maintaining exceptional standards. Now over 12 years old, they are used by thousands of pet owners in the UK. With a 99% Feefo service rating, they have all the experience and knowledge needed to help you in treat your pets effectively. Checking them against competitors, the nearly always come up cheapest on pet prescriptions, food and supplements.
To reduce the risk of worms you must be maintaining an effective worm control program.
- You should be regularly disinfecting water and food bowls. Housing should be cleaned and disinfected regularly too.
- Tapeworms can be prevented by regularly using flea products to treat your pets.
- Clean up after your pet, disposing their faeces carefully
- Wash your hands thoroughly before you eat
The three most common parasites are hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms, which we are able to contract. They all differ slightly and should be treated ASAP!
Roundworms are parasites that infect the intestine by feeding off it. Infected animals constantly shed roundworm eggs in their faeces and they seem to be most common in puppies and kittens.
They can be contracted by humans if you happen to swallow the infective eggs-if the infected animal was to lick you after licking themselves, mainly their bottom, then contamination can begin. Worm eggs are minuscule meaning you’ll not be able to see them so if you happened to get them on your hands and you then go to touch your mouth or eat food you are unconsciously allowing those eggs to enter your body and reproduce in your intestines.
To prevent the infection in humans all dogs should essentially be treated each month. Effective treatment is extremely simple to find, if not online visit your vet who will then advise you on the safest treatment plan for you and your pet.
Tapeworms, just like roundworms will attach themselves to your pet’s intestines. They are however much bigger in size as they have many different segments that will all reproduce- these worms can be found in your pet’s faeces, living/sleeping area or on their bottom. There aren’t really any physical symptoms for a tapeworm infection which is why it’s so hard to tell if they have it or not.
To decrease the risk of tapeworms in your pet and yourself thorough sanitation should be carried out regularly. This means don’t walk barefoot around where your dog poos, ensure you wash your hands after petting a diagnosed animal with parasites and do not let an animal with worms sleep with you. The eggs can get into your bedding and invade your body if you are to let this happen.
The intermediate host for tapeworms are fleas, so always ensure that you have effective flea control that is consistent. Whilst tapeworms in humans are uncommon if a human was to have an egg inside their body it can become dangerous, this is because whilst the tapeworm itself is confined to the intestine, the larvae is not. These recently hatched worms will burrow through intestine walls and get into the bloodstream, meaning they can settle anywhere in the body.
Hookworms are parasites that will hook themselves to an animal’s intestines lining. They will feed off tiny blood vessels in the intestinal lining, which can then cause anaemia. They accidently contract them by ingesting larvae from other animal’s faeces they may sniff or eat and by drinking contaminated water. If you do happen to suspect an infection go see a veterinarian who will prescribe effective medication. Know that preventing hookworm is vital especially if the animal has already infected before-always remember to be sanitary and clean up dog poo immediately.
Hookworm larvae can burrow into human skin, mostly through feet, which then causes an infection. A Majority of human cases of hookworm is because someone has walked through or near contaminated faeces with bare feet. This will cause irritation and itching to the skin, but by preventing contact with faeces as well as bathing and washing hands regularly this can be prevented.
Though human cases are rare, many people have died from untreated hookworm infections. If you do suspect an infection seek medical help as soon as possible to prevent damage to your organs and eyes which can later cause blindness and complications.