THE term deworming is commonly used for the treatment against intestinal worms in your pet.
Dogs and cats, but also many other pets like horses and tortoises, can be infested with intestinal worms. These include roundworms, tapeworms and hook and whipworms. Each one of these has their own cycle and uses different hosts to survive.
Some of these worms can also be transmitted to humans and that is why deworming your pet, which you cuddle and kiss, is so important, to be done at least every three months. Roundworm eggs are passed in the feces, where they develop into infective larvae. These are consumed by rodents where the larvae nestle in their tissues. The cat or dog will either eat this rodent or eat grass infested with larvae from the feces. These larvae migrate through their bodies to then be coughed up and swallowed into the intestinal tract where they develop to adult roundworms and produce eggs.
Puppies and kittens can also get these larvae through the milk and have worms as early as two weeks of age. Children playing in sandboxes where cats have buried their feces, can get these roundworms.
Tapeworms do not lay eggs. They grow in segments and each segment that breaks off is a new worm. These proglottids hatch in an intermediate host like the rabbit and rodents. Our dogs and cats get infested by eating these hosts, eating feces or grass with proglottids, or by eating fleas off their bodies that have eaten the proglottids. One of the tapeworms is the echinococcus. Echinococcos in humans is very dangerous. Cysts can develop in the liver, the brain, the unborn baby etc.
By Nazli, of Pointer Veterinary Clinic, Estepona.
Tel. 952 804 165 www.pointerclinic.com