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How to Switch to Natural Worming Products
20 CommentsTuesday, 7 January 2014 | Kate
In order to know how worming products work it’s best to understand how worms themselves operate internally and externally. There are various types of worms that can infest your pets; both dogs and cats can get worms and pass them between each other. It’s important to implement a regular worming programme for your pets so they can maintain a healthy inside. There are types of worms that are even known to spread disease between humans.
Cats and dogs can pick worms up in different ways: from other infected animals, eating the larvae or the eggs of worms, transferred from mother to infant during pregnancy, eating prey that have worms, consuming raw meat, or from infected parasites (tapeworm eggs can be found on fleas).
As the name suggests, these worms make their home in the lungs and also the windpipe. Lungworms create bumps in the windpipe in which they lay their eggs. It's no surprise that these worms can cause serious respiratory problems if left untreated. Problems caused by Lungworms do not become serious until a significant build-up of the worms has occurred but they should be treated at any stage regardless. Dogs pick up Lungworms by drinking food or water that carries the worms in their larval stage, eating common garden slugs is one way. Once ingested these larvae then make their way from the intestines to the lungs and windpipe through the bloodstream.
Once nested in the lungs the worms mature into the adult stage and lay their eggs. These eggs are then expelled from the body through the stool or coughing them up where they can be ingested by other animals and the cycle starts over. There are a number of tests your vet can do to determine whether your pet has lungworm including x-rays and checking the stool. Take your pet to the vet if you suspect they have been infested with lungworm. Fortunately a lungworm infestation doesn't last that long in most cases.
Heartworm is a double edged sword: there is only one way pets can get them but if they do then they are extremely difficult to get rid of. How animals become infected with heartworm is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Heartworm parasites are targeted to only affect cats and dogs and other similar animals so it is extremely unlikely that humans will become infected if bitten by a mosquito carrying them. When a dog becomes infected with heartworm the worms grow to their adult stage and move into the heart and lungs as well as nearby blood vessels. There they reproduce and can live from five to seven years. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know if a mosquito has heartworm which is why prevention becomes the key issue here.
Rundworm is the most common type of worm found in our dogs and cats. They typically inhabit the stomach and intestines and females lay somewhere in the vicinity of 200,000 eggs in a single day. Dogs can become infested with roundworm in four ways but the most common way is for larvae to be transferred from mother to puppy during pregnancy. It's not uncommone for a bitches milk can also pass on the larvae to her puppies. Roundworm can also be picked up by dogs eating prey that is infected with the worms or by eating soil that contains them. These worms generally aren’t known to show any symptoms in adult dogs however but you can identify them in stool as they are white and look like thin earthworms.
So called because they are thin in appearance with one end being slightly thicker, they attach themselves to the lining of the intestines. These worms inhabit both the large and small intestines usually either side of where they meet at the ileocecal valve. Female whipworms produce comparatively fewer eggs than other species of worm and they cannot be seen in the stool by the naked eye so even repeated veterinary examinations may be inconclusive.
How to Make the Switch
The best way to switch over to natural worming products is to overlap their usage. While your dog or cat is still undergoing a prescribed treatment from the vet start them on Billy No Mates and Verm-X, or Four Seasons at the same time. Because natural wormers work from the gut it's crucial to get your pet wormed using a conventional method prescribed by your vet before you move over to Verm-X, to eradicate any parasites already present that may have already left the gut, ie. lungworm. This will give the Billy No Mates and Verm-X time to become effective. Once they're off the vet's medication then they won't have to adapt to another as they'll already be taking it.
Verm-X works to create an environment within your dog's digestive system that is unattractive to parasites. It is specially formulated to exterminate these intruders, it targets parasites when they have been ingested and eliminates them before they can migrate to other parts of the body. Billy No Mates is a herbal supplement (available as a wet or dry mix) that is formulated to repel all external parasites including fleas, ticks and mites; especially useful as a preventative against parasites that may be carrying worm eggs. It is used best used continuously throughout the year, only stop using it in very cold weather, starting up again in warmer weather.