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All cats and dogs, at some time in their lives, will stick their curious noses – literally – in other animals’ business and accidentally contract internal parasites – frequently referred to as worms. This can cause health problems in young and old pets alike, not to mention similar ailments in humans.

The most common parasites are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. Even healthy-looking animals can be carrying roundworms and tapeworms. In young pets, worms can cause a potbelly, poor growth and diarrhoea. A heavy infestation can even cause a fatal blockage of the intestines. In adult pets, worms can lead to poor coat condition, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Worms also pose a risk to humans – roundworms in dogs and cats (Toxocara), for example, can cause blindness in children, though this is rare. Regular worming is essential to protect pets and people alike. Worms aren’t choosy, and will live happily inside you, too.

How to prevent internal parasites in your pet

Keep worms at bay with these helpful tips.

  • Ask your vet about the most suitable worming treatments for pets.
  • Tapeworms rely on fleas to infest your pets, so regular flea prevention treatment is important.
  • Note on your calendar when treatments are due.
  • Always observe strict hygiene. Dispose of faeces and cat litter every day and wash your hands afterwards. Make sure children do the same and stop them playing with mud. Cover sandpits to avoid cat contamination.

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