FVAH wants to keep your whole family parasite free!
- Practice good personal hygiene
- Use a preventative flea and/or tick treatment year-round
- Minimize exposure to high-traffic pet areas
- Clean up pet feces regularly.
- Visit your veterinarian for annual testing and physical examination
- Administer worming medications as recommended by your veterinarian
- Ask your veterinarian about parasite infection risks and effective year-round preventative control measures administered monthly
I Don’t See Anything In My Pet’s Poop?
Just because you cannot see worms in your pet’s poop doesn’t mean they are not there. Tapeworms will shed segments intermittently but most worms will shed microscopic eggs. Studies have shown that fecal exams can also be falsely negative and it is now recommended to do 3 to 5 fecal exams before a veterinarian can say that the test is a true negative.
Why the false negatives:
- If the worms are juvenile they are not yet shedding eggs
- Eggs are shed intermittently
- Single sex infections so eggs are not shed.
Do I Need To Deworm My Indoor Cat?
Indoor cats can, and do, get worms.
How you ask?
1. Roundworms lay between 20,000 and 200,000 eggs a day and they last for 5 years in the environment.
Picture this: You walk across grass that some other dog, raccoon, squirrel etc. defecated on 4 years ago and left behind microscopic roundworm eggs. These eggs stick to your shoes and then you track them into your home. Your cat then picks them up on their feet and body and ingests them while grooming.
2. Did you know studies have shown 15% of potting soil can contain roundworm and hookworm eggs?
3. Fleas can easily sneak into homes (we see it all the time) and a cat may ingest that flea while grooming. This is a common source of tapeworm for both cats and dogs. Make sure to deworm your indoor cats at least once every 12 months.
My Dog/Cat Is Not In Contact With Other Dogs/Cats Do I Need To Deworm?
- Our pets pick up some parasites by what we call a fecal-oral route. This means eggs are shed in the feces and the eggs must be eaten. So of course if your pet is a litter box raider that will increase the risk but they can pick them up without this habit. Round worms lay between 20,000 and 200,000 eggs a day and they last for 5 years in the environment. The eggs are “sticky”. So your pet walks across grass that another dog, cat, squirrel, raccoon defecated on some years earlier and the eggs stick to their feet and fur. Then while grooming they ingest the eggs.
- Hookworm eggs are also shed in the feces and the young hookworms (larvae), which hatch from the eggs, live the soil. These larvae can infect your pet through the ingestion of the soil (if they pick up a stick with dirt on it or lick their feet after being outside) or through direct contact, as the larvae will actually penetrate the skin.
- Our dogs and cats most commonly pick up tapeworm through the ingestion of a flea. But cats and dogs who hunt can also pick up this parasite if they ingest birds, rodents, or rabbits.
- Puppies can get roundworms as a fetus as the parasite travels through the placenta and puppies and kittens can get roundworms through their mother’s milk.
How Often Should I Deworm My Pet?
This question should be simple but the answer does vary a little based on lifestyle. Every pet should be dewormed at least once a year. Dogs who go to dog parks, daycare, hike etc. and outdoor cats should be dewormed on a more frequent schedule, at least 4 times a year for the Fraser Valley Area. People with small children or anyone with a compromised immune system should consider the use of a monthly dewormer.
Can I Get Worms From My Pet?
Did you know that intestinal parasites are zoonotic – that means people can get them… Bleck
How to protect yourself and your family?
- Deworm your dog and outdoor cats every 3 months and your indoor cat at least once a year.
- Stoop and scoop please don’t bend and pretend. Round worms lay 20,000 to 200,000 eggs a day and they last 5 years in the environment. The best way to keep your yard and the parks parasite free is to pick up the poop.
- Wash wash wash your hands!
- Don’t walk barefoot on grass that could have been exposed to infected feces. It is generally a good idea not to walk barefoot on any public grassy areas since they could have been infected with parasites like hookworms.
- Keep pets regularly groomed to avoid any fecal matter from being caught in fur where it can expose you to infectious parasites.
Recommended Deworming Protocol
Treat puppies and kittens every 2 weeks starting at 2 weeks of age. At 8 weeks, switch to a monthly schedule. From 6 months of age onward, monthly or regular targeted treatments can be given based on the pet’s individual risk.
Under six months
Puppies and kittens less than six months of age:
Puppies and kittens should ideally be treated with a dewormer to protect/treat Roundworm (Toxocara spp.) at two, four, six and eight weeks of age, and then monthly to six months of age. This early start schedule ensures removal of Toxocara spp. acquired prenatally and/or through the milk. Because most puppies and kittens do not have contact with a veterinarian until six to eight weeks of age, it may be necessary to provide dewormers to breeders for earlier treatments. Nursing females should be treated concurrently with their offspring since they often develop patent infections along with their young.
When puppies or kittens are first acquired by their owner, they should be dewormed for a minimum of two treatments spaced two weeks apart and then monthly up to six months of age; three initial treatments at 2-week intervals may be used to synchronise deworming with vaccination programs. Fecal parasitological examinations should be performed twice in the first 6 months of the animal’s life (e.g. at 2-3 months and 6 months of age). The choice of product and scheduling of future treatments should be based on the parasites detected and their prevalence in a given geographic area.
Over six months
Dogs and cats over six months of age:
All dogs and cats over six months of age should have at least 1-2 fecal parasitological examinations per year and be assessed for risk of parasitic infection. Decreased use of deworming can be justified for pets who are regularly tested and are considered low risk animals. Veterinarians should consider the pet’s lifestyle, location, health status, composition of the household, and ask pet owners the following questions to assess the animal’s risk level:
- Are there young children in the house? In regular contact with the animal?
- Are there individuals with compromised immune systems in the house? In regular contact with the animal?
- Are there any pregnant women, or women who could be pregnant, in the house? In regular contact with the animal?
- Is the dog or cat a service animal?
- Do pets frequently come into contact with highly contaminated environments (e.g. dog parks, kennels)?
- Do pets have access to wildlife such as rodents, rabbits, birds, or carcasses of livestock or wild aniamls?
- Do pets ever roam freely?
- Are pets fed raw meat or organs?
Flea Control Available at FVAH
Advantage (Canine & Feline) – Monthly topical flea treatment. Also covers lice in dogs. Over the counter.
Advantage Multi (Canine & Feline) – Monthly topical flea and deworming (not tapeworm) treatment. Prescription only.
Bravecto (Canine) – 12 week flavored chew that kills fleas and ticks. Also available in a topical. Prescription only.
Bravecto (Feline) – 12 week topical Flea and tick treatment. Prescription only.
Nexgard (Canine Only) – Monthly flavored chew that kills fleas and ticks. Prescription Only.
Program (Feline) – Six month subcutaneous injection for flea birth control. Prescription only.
Capstar (Canine & Feline) – Oral tablet that starts to kill adult fleas in 15 mins, only last 24 hours. Over the counter.