Another parasite you need to protect your pet from is intestinal worms. Intestinal worms live in the intestines and feed on the nutrients that your pet consumes. The most common intestinal worms in Australia are roundworm, tapeworm, and hookworm. Left untreated, they can cause weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea, anaemia, and even death. Pets usually become infected with intestinal worms by ingesting the eggs of the parasites, which can be found in contaminated soil, faeces, and other sources.
Regular deworming treatments will protect your pet from intestinal worms.
You should deworm your pet regularly:
- every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age
- then once a month until 6 months of age,
- And depending on the product, every 3−6 months for the rest of their life.
Vet tip: Intestinal worms can be transmitted from pets to humans, so it’s important to wash your hands after touching your pet and picking up their poo.
Heartworm parasites are transmitted through mosquito bites. These worms can grow in your pet’s heart and lungs, causing serious damage to their health, and often death. Heartworm in cats is less common than in dogs.
Heartworm prevention is the best way to ensure your pet stays healthy and free from these parasites. Protection is recommended in most areas of Australia, although Tasmania is considered low risk. There are various options to protect your pet from heartworm, including monthly chews, spot-on treatments, or a convenient yearly injection for dogs. Ask your vet for a recommendation suitable for your pet.