Worm your dog or cat, what is true and what is not?Almost all dogs and cats get infected with worms once in a while. Luckily there are very good worm remedies for the dog and cat to (usually) quickly undo an infection. However, it is true that many untruths about worms in pets are described, that's why we answer a few common untruths.
If you don't see any worms, then the dog or cat doesn't have any worms. When a dog or cat is infected with worms, they can cause damage to the intestines, lungs or elsewhere in the body without being visible at first. Usually the worms are only noticed when the pet is no longer fit, slows down in growth, loses weight, starts coughing or when some worms become visible when vomiting or defecating. So your dog or cat can be infected with worms without you being able to see it on the outside. If you already see worms in the stool or vomit without deworming, it is possible that there are a lot of worms present and it is better to deworm after you have spoken to the vet. In case of a severe infection, the worms, which die during worming, can also cause complaints.
My dog or cat doesn't get worms, because I worm 4 times a year. Unfortunately, there are no deworm tablets or pipettes yet that protect your dog or cat from any worm for weeks. All anthelmintics are effective at the moment of ingestion or up to 4 weeks after the application of a worm pipette. Only the already present worms that are sensitive to the used anthelmintic die and come out through the stool or vomit. Usually within 24 to 48 hours the worms that are sensitive to the anthelmintic die and come out with the stools. If you see worms then you know that your dog or cat was infected with worms and it may be necessary to repeat the treatment after about 3 to 4 weeks. The purpose of worming is to stop any worm infection before your pet gets sick of it and not to keep your dog or cat worm-free at all times.
Is worming stressful for my dog or cat?Worming is not a burden for most dogs and cats. The anthelmintics can be accurately dosed and are nowadays of very good quality. Anthelmintics are veterinary medicines and as with any medicine it is possible that an animal reacts to them. We call this side effects and fortunately these don't happen very often, but it is possible. It is also possible that your dog or cat is hypersensitive to certain active ingredients, then another drug with a different active ingredient may be the solution. When in doubt, the veterinarian can always give advice which products can or cannot. Does it turn out that your pet reacts to many agents, do you want to limit the use of de-worming agents or are you against preventive de-worming? Then it is possible to have your veterinarian do a faecal examination. The faeces will then be examined by the vet for the presence of worm eggs, because then you know for sure that there are worms present in the pet. When worm eggs are found, you have to deworm, while in case of a negative result you don't have to deworm.
Are worms only contagious to animals?
Animals and humans seem very different creatures at first sight, but unfortunately not all worm species think so as well. Worms that occur in dogs or cats can also cause complaints in humans. Besides preventive deworming (to prevent a large infection) good hygiene is often the way to prevent an infection with, for example, roundworms or tapeworms (Echinococcus). Hygiene measures include washing hands, for example after playing outside or gardening, washing raw vegetables and clearing stools of dogs and cats.