Intestinal worms and coccidia are mainly a problem in young animals that have limited immunity. They are usually transferred from the mother (in her milk or before birth in the uterus) or from a contaminated environment. These parasites cause sickness, usually seen as poor growth, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and anaemia. Some of these parasites can infect people and cause a range of illnesses. Washing hands before eating, and worming your pet regularly are the best methods of prevention. Women when pregnant and immunosuppressed people (HIV patients, people on chemotherapy) should not feed raw, uncooked meat to their pets.
Puppies and kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks for 4 doses then every 3 months for life. Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice have coccidia as the main intestinal parasite which they get from a contaminated environment. A faecal test on young, unwell rabbits, guinea pigs and rodents determines if treatment is needed.