Deworming is a core part of preventative medicine in pets. It is generally recommended pets begin deworming when they are 2 to 4-weeks-old. Deworming needs to start early because young pets can get worms from their mothers and are especially vulnerable when maternal antibodies wear off. Your pet can become infected with hookworms, heartworms, tapeworms, roundworms and whipworms. If an infestation is left untreated, your pet can experience anemia, weight loss, dehydration, skin infections and even death.
What can I do to protect my pet from worms?
The only way to protect your pet from worms is to have them on a year-round prevention plan. We strongly discourage pet owners from using home remedies or over-the-counter medication to deworm as it may cause more harm than good. Your veterinarian may recommend a monthly parasite preventive which gives them broad-spectrum protection. Prevention medication can be administered through injections, oral medications or topicals. If your pet is already diagnosed with worms, it may take multiple doses to completely rid them of worms.
How can I tell if my pet has worms?
Each type of worm will affect your pet differently, so there are many different signs you should look out for. If your pet shows any of these signs, call your veterinarian immediately:
- Abdominal pain
- Sudden weight loss
- Dull coat
- Blood in their stool
Can I get worms from my pet?
Yes, it’s possible that humans can get worms from their pets. Zoonotic worms can transfer between species meaning pets can pass them to each other and humans. Some zoonotic worms include hookworm, tapeworm and roundworms. Humans can get worms from their pets by:
- Walking barefoot in contaminated soil
- Children playing in sandboxes with stool
- Gardening in soil without any gloves
- Accidental ingestion of contaminated soil or feces
- Not washing their hands after handling pet feces