There are many different worm species that can affect cats and dogs in NZ. Here is a short list of worms that can affect your pets.
Roundworms – Roundworms can affect cats and dogs, in fact this family of worms affects almost every mammal on Earth. These worms are so numerous, that almost every single puppy and kitten is born already infected. They can cause a ‘pot bellied’ look in animals with a large burden. They are capable of causing disease in people, which usually presents in children as a fever and abdominal pain.
Tapeworms – The most common tapeworm found in pet cats and dogs is the flea tapeworm. Pets can be infected by accidentally consuming fleas that are carrying worm larvae. The end segments of mature tapeworms containing eggs are passed out of animals, and look like small grains of rice that can be littered around bedding and carpet. As well as the flea tapeworm, cats can be infected with a similar tapeworm from eating rodents.
Sheep measles – The worm that causes sheep measles is also a tapeworm, closely related to the hydatid tapeworm, which NZ has now successfully eradicated. The lifecycle of sheep measles involves dogs and sheep or goats. Prevention of this disease relies on not feeding raw sheep or goat meat, and regularly worming dogs.
Hookworms – These worms are rarely found in NZ, but occasional cases have been reported. They live off blood and can cause severe blood loss in affected animals. People can be affected when the larvae tries to burrow into exposed skin leading to a red itchy rash.
Whipworm – These are small worms that affect dogs, they are almost invisible to the naked eye. They can cause severe diarrhoea, flatulence and loss of weight.
The best way to prevent disease is to worm your pets with veterinary worm tablets. Puppies and kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Once they reach 12 weeks of age, a 3 monthly cycle can be started.
We have a Worm Programme; this ensures that your animal is always up to date with worm products with these sent directly to you throughout the year.