Intestinal worms are relatively common in all animals and it is important to keep parasite numbers down as a heavy worm burden can cause a variety of health issues for your animals.
Using drugs and chemicals is not the only solution and there are Natural Solutions for Worms in Dogs & Cats. One of the most important preventative measures is a strong, healthy immune system, and the best way to strengthen their immune system is to feed a balanced fresh raw food diet.
Healthy animals have natural defenses against parasites and recent studies have shown that having a small number of parasites actually reduced the risk of developing allergies and that animals kept free of all parasites had an increase in allergies.
Some of the most common worms affecting dogs and cats are: roundworms, hookworm, whipworms, tapeworm and heartworm.
In most cases it is difficult to know if your animals have worms because they will not always show any obvious symptoms unless they have a large infestation.
Symptoms of intestinal worms may include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, poor coat condition, distended abdomen, lethargy, anal scooting or changes in appetite (poor appetite or ravenous).
Roundworms are large spaghetti-like in appearance and absorb nutrients from the infected animal. They live and reproduce in the small intestine.
Hookworms are short blood sucking parasites that attach to the intestinal wall and suck blood and nutrients from their host. Hookworms are more common in dogs than in cats and can cause anemia if left untreated.
Tapeworms are long and flat in appearance and break off into segments. They can grow quite long in length and live in the small intestine. Dogs and cats may acquire tapeworms by ingesting an intermediate host, like an infected flea or rodent. Tapeworm segments which look like small grains or rice may be visible around the anal area and can cause itchiness (anal scooting) in dogs or cats.
Whipworms are threadlike and are also more common in dogs than cats. Animals may become infected by ingesting whipworm eggs from soil or other substances containing eggs.
Heartworm is a type of roundworm spread by mosquitoes when they bite a dog and inject immature worms, called microfilaria, into the body. The microfilaria then circulates through the body tissue taking approximately six months to reach the right side of the dog’s heart where they develop into adult heartworm.
Symptoms of heartworm disease may include:
Coughing, intolerance to exercise, shortness of breath, weight loss, poor appetite and listlessness.
Only certain mosquitoes can transmit heartworm, so by reducing your dog or cat’s exposure to mosquitoes will reduce the risk significantly.
It is important however to use preventative measures if you live in a high-risk heartworm area.
Heartworms live in the animal’s bloodstream, not the gastrointestinal tract so keeping their immune system strong is also important in reducing the risk of heartworm.
Some foods that help to reduce intestinal worms include:
Raw grated carrot, watercress, pumpkin & pumpkin seeds, coconut, papaya, greens, fennel and apple cider vinegar.
Adding a good quality Canine/Feline Probiotic along with digestive enzyme supplements also provide additional support by ensuring the gastrointestinal tract has a good balance of healthy intestinal flora to help flush out intestinal worms.
There are a number of herbs that have anti-parasitic properties which may be used to help control worms in dogs and cats as well as horses, poultry, birds and people!
If you do need to use a conventional wormer or heartworm medication, then it is a good idea to follow up with liver detox remedies to reduce the risk of side effects.
Please contact us if you would like to know about the many natural non-toxic solutions we have for controlling worms for both your animals and your family.