Time to Deworm Your Pets To Eliminate Parasites
Fri, December 3, 2021

Time to Deworm Your Pets To Eliminate Parasites


Deworming is a critical part of your pet’s preventative care routine, as it helps reduce internal and external parasites, said Companion Veterinary Clinic, an animal clinic in Canada. Deworming improves your pet’s quality of life since it prevents the transmission of parasites from animals to humans. 

French National Survey On Deworming Behavior and Lifestyle of Pets Associated With Endoparasites Risk (2019)

Clarisse Roussel, Jason Drake, and Juan Manual Ariza of BMC Parasites and Vectors, a medical journal that focuses on the biology of parasites, parasitic diseases, and more, found that most dogs (independent of the region) were older than six months, were kept on lead when outdoors (83%), were in contact with other dogs, snails, or prey (83%), ate slugs, snails, grass or dug in the garden (68%), and were in contact with kids and/or the elderly (75%).

80% of dogs in the Bretagne region and 43% of those from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region had outdoor access other than the garden. Of canines that had outdoor access, only 20% of dogs in the Ile-de-France region and 45% of those in the Bretagne region went “off lead.” 10% of owners in the Grand Est region and 30% in Hauts-de-France region reported that their dogs caught prey animals. Among the regions, dogs were dewormed between 1.50 and three times a year. The dogs were categorized into Category A (lowest risk; 2%), Category B (2%), Category C (7%), and Category D (highest risk; 89%). Overall compliance with deworming recommendations was highest in the Grand Est. region (13%) and lowest in the Auvergne-Rhones-Alpes region (1.5%). Across France, the average compliance rate recommended for deworming was 6% (poor).

For cats, 97% of the felines were older than six months whereas 66% had outdoor access. Only 5% of respondents fed their cats with raw meat, but overall, 57% (33% to 68%) lived with children or elderly people. 57% (33% to 72%) also hunted outside while 52% (33% to 65%) caught prey animals. Among the regions, cats were dewormed between 1.33 and three times per year. The cats were categorized in Category A (33%), Category B (3%), Category C (11%), and Category D (53%). Deworming compliance was highest in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (47.1%) and lowest in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie regions (27.8% for Nouvelle-Aquitaine and 28.3% for Occitanie). Across France, the average compliance rate with deworming recommendations was poor (36%).



What Do I Need to Know About Parasites?

Kids, pregnant women, cancer patients, diabetics, and any person with a weak immune system are at risk. Since dog and cat parasites are zoonotic, parasites can be transmitted from animals to humans and cause disease. You can become infected with roundworms if you accidentally ingest eggs or larvae that are shed in the droppings of an infected animal, said Baxter Animal Hospital, an animal care facility in Sudbury, Ontario. Larvae move through the liver, lungs, other organs, tissue, inflicting damage and triggering allergic reactions. Hookworms can infect your body if you come in direct contact with hookworm in soil contaminated with the waste of infected animals. They cause cutaneous larva migrants syndrome, which leads to progressive, intensely itchy lesions in the skin.

Many parasites cannot survive temperatures below -30°C, but some can survive in subzero temperatures. Intestinal roundworms, for instance, can lay 10,000 eggs each day. These eggs have a thick crust that safeguards the roundworms from the elements.  This means they can survive and remain infectious for up to five years. Your pet is likely to be exposed to parasites if you live in an area where parasites are rampant. It is also at risk if it has traveled to other countries or provinces in the last few months. Going to other places may expose your pet to various species of parasites. 

How Do I Deworm My Dog or Puppy?

Consult your veterinarian to see what kind of worms infected your dog, said Pet MD, a go-to source of pet health and pet care information. If your veterinarian suspects that your pet has worms, you will have to provide a fresh sample of its feces. Scoop up some of the waste and seal it in a plastic bag. If you can’t muster the courage to scoop poop, you can have your veterinarian take a sample during the appointment. They will examine it under a microscope to confirm if there are worms or eggs in the poop, as well as the type of worm. For puppies, consider deworming your pup when they’re two to three weeks old. Your veterinarian will prescribe a “broad-spectrum” drug to kill the worms (including those that live in the gut), which can be administered orally or in a shot.

It will take more than one dose before you can get rid of the worms. The first dose kills the worms that are present in your dog or puppy. The second then eliminates the worms that have hatched a few weeks later. For heartworms, your dog will undergo blood work, x-rays, and other tests to assess the severity of the infection. Your pet will undergo a monthly heartworm prevention program. It will also be given an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication to jumpstart its heartworm treatment. A month later, a stronger medicine will be given through a series of three shots for the next two months. Six months following the treatment, your veterinarian will conduct a blood test to check for worms.



How Do I Deworm My Cat?

Queens in breeding colonies should be dewormed after a 50-day gestation, noted Revival Animal Health, a pharmacy and supplies store. If the queen is dewormed, deworm its kittens when they turn four weeks of age with Pyrantel. Kittens at six and eight weeks of age should be dewormed using Fenbendazole, which should be administered orally for three days.

For adult cats, it is recommended to have them administer a broad-spectrum dewormer once a year. Although there are a variety of deworming products available in your pet store, it is recommended to consult your veterinarian for advice, said International Cat Care, a resource on feline health. Your cat can be given a dewormer in the form of a shot, a tiny tablet that can be added into food, or drops that can be applied to the skin.

Have your pets dewormed to prevent the transmission of parasites. Parasites infect both animals and humans so it is important to prevent it as soon as possible.