Deworming 101

Has your pet received a deworming treatment recently? There are several types of worms that can infect pets – and some of them can even affect humans. Fortunately, protecting your furry friend and your family is possible with a visit to your local animal hospital. Here’s what you need to know about the deworming treatment.

Why is Deworming Pets Necessary?

Protecting your pet from worms is essential to their long-term health. Over time, pets with untreated intestinal worms can suffer from protein loss, anemia, and other complications. If your pet is infected with worms, you may notice lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, and other symptoms. However, not all infestations cause symptoms, making regular veterinary examinations essential.

When Should I Deworm My Pet?

Deworming should begin at the start of a dog or cat’s life. Most puppies and kittens are born with worms, so it’s important for them to receive treatment at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 weeks old. Your veterinarian will recommend a treatment schedule that meets your pet’s needs. In some cases, several medications may be needed to protect your pet from multiple varieties of worms.

How Are Pets Dewormed?

Deworming is a safe procedure that can be performed at your veterinarian’s office. At the animal hospital, your vet will administer medication by mouth to eradicate the worms. The medication may be described as “broad-spectrum,” as it will kill a variety of parasites. The vet also may show you how to administer the medication at home.

How Often Should Pets be Dewormed?

If your dog or cat spends a lot of time outdoors and loves to hunt, it likely will need more frequent deworming. However, the following are general guidelines:

  • General worming for dogs and outdoor cats: Twice a year for the pet’s life.
  • Strictly indoor cats: Deworm once a year
  • Outdoor cats that hunt: Three times per year.
  • New animals: No matter how old, deworm immediately. Repeat the treatment in two weeks, and then begin an adult regimen.

With regular deworming treatments, your best friend can live a long and healthy life. If you suspect your pet has worms, contact Twin Rivers Animal Hospital at 250-828-2939 today to schedule an appointment.