Worms in the intestines can cause problems in both dogs and cats. In adult animals, the symptoms are, in most cases, not much worse than a bad episode of diarrhoea, severe worm infections in pups and kittens can lead to death as large numbers of worms can suck enormous amounts of blood. Note that most intestinal worming tablets do not prevent heart-worm infections.
There are some very effective de-worming tablets available. It is recommended that you de-worm your pet with a tablet, such as Drontal, once a month. These tablets are available over-the-counter. You can choose between chewies (which taste like treats) and normal tablets. Most tablets should not be given with food.
Prevention in puppies and kittens
Prevention of worms in pups and kittens requires de-worming every 2 weeks rather than every 4 weeks. There is special puppy worming syrup available for pups younger than 6 weeks. An easy worming schedule for pups up to 6 months would be to alternate between Heartguard (or Interceptor) and Drontal every 2 weeks.
Dogs and cats that chase lizards could be infected with a certain tapeworm, called Spirometra. This tapeworm can’t be treated or prevented with regular worming tablets. However, it is possible to de-worm affected animals with a high dosage of special tape-worming tablets, which are available at the clinic.