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How worms can affect your pet
There is nothing pleasant about parasites, but unfortunately they are a part of life if you have a dog or cat. Kittens and puppies are born with worms, because the worms resting within the mother's body are stimulated by hormones secreted during pregnancy. For this reason, all puppies, kittens and lactating mothers should be dewormed regularly.
It is important to deworm your puppies and kittens, but if they are not dewormed or they develop worms again later in life, it is crucial to know the symptoms and how to treat it. Worms are internal parasites that feed off your pet, so you may become aware of their presence if your furry friend experiences unexplained weight loss, anemia, a swollen belly, dull coat or if you see worms in its stool.
Your veterinarian will have to do a fecal exam to determine whether your pet has worms, which kind they are and how they should be treated. Deworming pet drugs are used to rid pets of intestinal worms, but there is no single medication that treats all types. Starting at age 2 weeks, puppies should be dewormed every two weeks until they are 3 months old. After that, they should be dewormed monthly until they are 6 months old. You can use pet products like Heartguard Plus Chewables for dogs once they are 6 weeks old.
Kittens also need regular deworming, starting when they are 6 weeks old. Deworm them using chewable medicine like Cat Heartguard Chewables every two weeks until they are 3 months old, then give the medication every month until they are 6 months old. Adult dogs should be given deworming medicine every three months. You can continue giving your cat the same medicine but you might consider a product like Dog Worms 3 for older dogs, since it requires no prescription but protects your pooch from common intestinal worms like roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.
Since your dog can get worms from eating fleas, it is also important that you give your pet a flea and tick preventative medication like Comfortis. This will kill fleas on dogs within 30 minutes and lasts a full month. Frontline Plus is another monthly topical preventative medicine that will kill fleas, ticks and lice.
You should also be sure to prevent your pet from eating prey such as mice or snails, or from eating feces of other pets or farm animals to prevent them from picking up worms.