"Deworming is a simple procedure that should never be ignored, and any complacency in this regard can actually be life-threatening!"
When you bring a young pet home for the first time, or you already have a pet for a while, one of the most critical steps that should never be ignored is regular deworming.
For puppies it is very important that deworming is carried out once every 15 days till the age of 3 months, once every month between 3-6 months of age, and once every 3 months thereafter.
For kittens deworming is necessary once every 15 days between 3-8 weeks of age, once every month till the age of 6 months, and once every 3 months thereafter.
In case you are getting your puppy or kitten from a breeder, make sure that they is properly dewormed.
In the recent days, I have come across so many cases where young puppies are suffering from super heavy loads of gastro-intestinal worms.
CASE STUDY 1 :
Lets me share with you the case of Ezzah, a super cute German shepherd puppy, less than 60 days old. Poor Ezzah was suffering from a super heavy load of round worms, the kind that I have never come across in my entire Veterinary career!
The technical nomenclature of this worm is Toxocara Canis.
The images above (shared by Ezzah's parent) are of adult mature worms that Ezzah was expelling out through vomiting and feces literally everyday! One can only imagine the heavy toll of this level of infestation on that young puppy!
Apparently Ezzah's breeder stated that she was dewormed. This certainly didn't look like the case; nor was this normal, is any way as it was also apparently suggested by the same breeder. The risk factor went several notches up for Ezzah because I was not able to recommend the vaccinations as she was receiving aggressive treatment for worms. And this was obviously making her very weak.
However, the good news is that things are slowly getting back to normal now and Ezzah is winning her fight. She is a real fighter!
She is also serving as an example for all pet owners that deworming is a simple procedure that should never be ignored and any complacency in this regard can actually be life-threatening!
CASE STUDY 2 :
Another sad example is the case of Fendy, a happy, playful Golden Retriever puppy, who unfortunately lost his battle due to a condition called Neurocysticercosis.
Due to misleading information passed on by the breeder, Fendy's very caring parents failed to carry out timely deworming. As a result Fendy developed Neurocysticercosis. In this condition, the larvae of a tape worm called Taenia Solium infects the Central Nervous system leading to severe epileptic seizures.
This could have been easily avoided had Fendy received his deworming medication on time.
SYMPTOMS OF WORM INFESTATION
A wide range of worms can affect your beloved pet animals and they include round worms, tape worms and hookworms. These gastro-intestinal worms can significantly increase the metabolic load on the puppy or kitten and the typical symptoms include:
Sever weakness and listlessness
Lack of adequate growth
Watery diarrhea that may include worms
Vomiting that may also include worms.
Complete loss of appetite and a swollen abdomen.
Mucous and blood in stool
Another parasite that can be life-threatening for cats and dogs is Dirofilaria Immitis, commonly known as heart worm.
Transmitted only through infected mosquito bite, the condition is rather endemic in this part of the country and could easily lead to major lung and heart complications, including congestive heart failure and death.!
Symptoms may first appear as a simple dry cough that can progress towards a persistent dry cough, fatigue and tiredness after just a bit of moderate exercise.
I would strongly suggest that you keep an eye for these symptoms and follow a heart worm medication schedule every 3 months in adult cats and dogs.
"All worm infestations are easily preventable and should never become life-threatening."
All worm infestations are easily preventable and should never become life-threatening.
Seen from that perspective, it is really heart-breaking to come across cases when pets have to deal with life-threatening predicaments due to worms.
So my advice is to strictly follow the deworming schedule and be very observant with regards to any abnormal symptoms. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, take an appointment with your nearest Vet in a highly time-sensitive manner .
It’s already tough to realize that a parasite is living inside your pet rent-free and to know that it may actually lead to life-threatening conditions is simply not acceptable!