Walwa Vet Practice

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms are parasites that live inside your pet’s intestines. These worms range in size from very small to surprisingly large (up to 18cm in length). Regardless of their size they all have negative health effects and can even have fatal consequences. Most species of animal, as well as humans, can be infected with intestinal worms including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, fish, birds and reptiles. Younger animals tend to be most susceptible to the internal parasites compared to mature animals.

What are the common intestinal worms in Australian pets?

The most common worms are: roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms and hookworm.

What are the signs of intestinal worms?

If your pet has a large number of worms it may find it difficult to maintain body condition and it can lose weight. In some cases it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even anaemia (a low red blood cell level). Occasionally, heavy intestinal worm burdens can cause death.

How do I prevent intestinal worm problems?

It is important to maintain a routine worming treatment for your pets, to reduce the incidence of infection and to reduce environmental contamination. There are many worming treatments available to treat worm infections that occur in our pets.These are available as tablets, spot-ons, or pastes. Re-infection is a common problem, particularly in pets that are in contact with a heavily contaminated environment. Another very important reason to worm your pets is to protect your family; as children in particular can become infected with certain dog and cat worms.