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A woman with two pugs
Tasmanian Veterinary Hospitals Bellerive

Regardless of their size they can cause major problems for your pets and if left untreated potentially deadly effects.

Most species of animal, as well as humans, can be infected with intestinal worms including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, fish, birds and reptiles.

Common intestinal worms in Australian pets are:

  • Roundworm
  • Tapeworm
  • Whipworm
  • Hookworm

Some of these intestinal worms from our pets can be transferred to other family members. Children, the elderly, and people who are immunocompromised are at a higher risk. Horrible to think we know, but intestinal worms can cause diarrhoea, and intestinal blockages.

If your pet has a large number of worms, it may find it difficult to maintain body condition. Symptoms of a worm burden in pets can include:

  • Scooting (dragging their bottom along the ground)
  • Weight loss, or inability to maintain body condition
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy caused by Anaemia (low red blood cell level)

It is important to maintain a routine worming treatment for your pets, to reduce the occurrence of infection and to reduce environmental contamination. This includes flea treatment as some worms, such as tapeworms are transferred through pets by fleas.

Below are some tips to consider regarding worm prevention apart from medication:

  • Promptly clean up pet faeces
  • Keep your pet’s environment clean
  • Always dispose of dog faeces in public parks and playgrounds
  • Practice good hygiene, always encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets or prior to eating)
  • Prevent children from playing where the soil may be contaminated

Re-infection is a common problem, particularly in pets that are in contact with a heavily contaminated environment. This can be especially important if your pet visits dog parks or is not treated prior to staying at animal kennel stays. While there are many worms that can affect pets, you can control the intestinal forms with an all-wormer medication