Some might think deworming is something unnecessary and is not as urgent as vaccinating your pets. However, deworming has been known to have adverse effects on cats and dogs alike. On the worst cases, worms in your pet’s intestines can lead to death.
Why is deworming so important?
Oftentimes, a veterinarian would ask for a stool sample. If you’ve never asked why it’s simply a way to check if your cat or dog has intestinal parasites that we know as worms.
The most common types are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Only roundworms and tapeworms are seen in the stool with the unaided eye.
You can usually be able to tell if your cat or dog has intestinal parasites by the symptoms they are showing. Most worm infestations cause diarrhea (can have blood), weight loss, dry hair, general poor appearance, and vomiting (perhaps with worms in the vomit). However, there are some infestations that show very few symptoms or none at all.
Some worm eggs and larvae can stay dormant in the pet’s body and are activated only in times of stress, like in the later stages of pregnancy, where they infest the soon-to-be-born puppies and kittens.
Here are several types of worms to look out for:
Roundworms can be transferred to a newly born pup even while it was in its mother’s uterus. It can also be transferred through its mother’s milk. Infected pets with active roundworms in their intestines often have a pot-bellied appearance and poor growth. The worms may also appear in vomit or stool. If not treated in time, this can lead to death by intestinal blockage.
This type is more commonly present in dogs than in cats. Since whipworms shed only a few eggs, their presence is often undetected and difficult to prove. Symptoms include chronic weight loss and stool that seems to be covered in mucus. Although whipworms seldom cause death, it can be troublesome for a dog.