Every pet owner experiences their pet suffering from worms at some point of life. Certain infections can be managed but when a healthy pet undergoes something sinister inside them it means trouble. If the proper de-worming procedure is not carried out, then there can be atrocious consequences including:
- Blockage of blood flow in the heart
- Inflammation of arteries
- Intestinal blockages
- In some worse cases even death
Some of the early signs to watch out for pets suffering from worms include:
- Abnormal breathing
- A bloated abdomen in puppies/kitties
- A dull and brittle coat
- Blood in feces
- Increased appetite
- Poor growth
Let us now look at some of the threats that pets can face if they are de-wormed on a regular basis:
It is a known fact that approximately 90% of puppies born are already infected with the Toxocara roundworm, as the larvae can pass through the mother to the pups through the placenta. After birth, both puppies and kittens are prone to get infected through the mother’s milk as Toxocara larvae can even find its way into mammary ducts. Since the mother is an invariable source of infection, regular worming every two weeks till the weaning process is a must.
Toxocara roundworm eggs pass out in the feces of the infected pets and mature into an infective stage in the environment. If these infected larvae are eaten then they can establish infection in the pet. Even polluted grass, food and water can transmit infection, hence make it a point to pick up the feces. Nursing mothers can get reinfected when they clean up their litter and so the endless cycle continues as the larvae gets shifted through the milk again.
Pets as active hunters run the risk of infection as prey animals like rabbits and rodents act as a middlemen for different types of roundworm and tapeworm that can be life-threatening for pets.
Fleas feed on the eggs and carry the larvae of the most prevalent tapeworm – Dipylidium caninum and if the pet accidentally swallows a flea while grooming he will definitely get infected. It is very important to give flea and tick preventative treatment coupled with de-worming treatments for best results.
There are certain tapeworms, like Taenia species lie in the cyst inside the muscle tissue of their middlemen and if the meat is fed raw or under-cooked, they can survive to infect cats and dogs.