Written by Veterinarian Dr Katherine Hansen, Tauranga Te Puna Katikati Papamoa Village Vets

Worming our cats and dogs is often not prioritised, however recent studies have shown we should take a more diligent approach.  Research has shown that human infestation with Toxocara canis or T.cati (roundworms) can be associated with a number of diseases.  Though rarely diagnosed, it can cause childhood asthma, urticaria, neuropsychiatric disorders and decreased cognitive function in children and young adults.

Research has estimated the worldwide prevalence of human toxocariasis to be 19% and studies within NZ have shown a wide variety of prevalence.  Seroprevalence increased among people in rural locations, younger people, recent pregnancy and close contact with dogs.  Humans become infected by ingesting eggs or infective larvae such as eating raw meat or children eating soil.

The European Scientific Counsel for Companion Animal Parasites recommends adult dogs and cats should be wormed every 3 months or monthly if – they are fed raw meat, are working or therapy dogs, are in contact with children under five years or live with immunocompromised individuals.

Treatment for roundworms in your cat and dog is easy with plenty of choices.  Traditional worming tablets are available and treatment can be combined with flea control in flavoured chews and spot-on products.  Come talk to us about worming your pet at any of our four clinics, we’ll be more than happy to help!