After a long hiatus, I am back talking about an issue deserving much more attention then it currently gets.
We love our pets, let them eat from our dishes and sleep on our bed, give them hugs and kisses… but in the process of all that could they be giving us intestinal worms?
‘Not Fluffy’ I hear you say ‘I give Fluffy worming medication regularly. That should protect me and him. Right?’
Most currently available worming products have no residual effect. That means they do kill the worms as they pass through the pet’s intestinal tract, but they don’t work tomorrow or the day after. So if you worm your pet, say every 3 months, there will be no protection in between those treatments (the exception to that rule are the products containing -mectin type drugs: ivomectin, duramectin, etc. This would include Advocate, Revolution and some other brands).
Why is this important? Because intestinal worm in people represent a great (sometimes life threatening!) danger.
Worms can cause blindness, severe immune reactions and liver/kidney cysts.
So what do I do to protect myself?
First of all, don’t panic. The serious complication are very, very rare and most worm infestations are not serious (although icky).
1. Worm your pet regularly. I suggest possibly using one of the -mectin based products I mentioned earlier.
2. Avoid feeding your pet raw meats. Raw meat can cause bacterial infections as well as harbor intestinal worms.
3. Maintain good flea control. Tapeworm in particular can enter your pet from fleas.
4. Wash your hands after handling your pet and don’t let them lick you on the face. I know this one is easier said then done, but try your best.
5. Go to a Pharmacy, get a HUMAN worming treatment and take it today! You think I am kidding, don’t you. I am not. I am dead serious. As a Veterinarian, I worm myself every 3 months or so. It sounds off-putting but I would rather look stupid in front of a Pharmacist then compromise my health. I suggest you do the same.
And don’t forget to give your pet a cuddle from me.