News & Info



I've often focused on intestinal worms in various species in Autumn, as this is when their numbers tend to peak. So this time it's the turn of our dogs and cats. Broadly the worms that our pets carry can be divided into 2 groups, roundworms and tapeworms. The roundworms can be further grouped into large roundworms (ascarids), hookworms and whipworms.


As with many other conditions puppies and kittens are most susceptible to worms. They commonly become infected during pregnancy through larvae crossing the placenta, or during lactation through larvae being ingested via the mother’s milk. For this reason it is necessary to deworm the pregnant mother about 10 to 14 days before you expect the birth, even if she has been regularly dewormed prior to that. This is because Ascarid larvae can lie dormant in cysts in the mother’s muscles where dewormers can’t reach them, and they are released into the bloodstream under the influence of pregnancy hormones. Ascarids are long spaghetti like worms, and can obstruct the guts of young pups causing death, or anaemia. They also compete for nutrients in the food, causing wormy pups to have a pot bellied appearance. Pups should be dewormed every 2 weeks of age from 6 weeks to 3 months (or from 2 weeks if the mother wasn’t dewormed just before the birth).


Adult dogs and cats should be dewormed every 3 to 6 months, with the exception of working dogs being fed farm kill, who need to be treated with a tape wormer each month in between the broad-spectrum dewormers. We no longer have a compulsory hydatid scheme in New Zealand for farm dogs, but by deworming regularly and freezing farm killed mutton prior to feeding it to the dogs we can control hydatids (now eradicated from New Zealand) and sheep measles.


Some good news for cat owners whose pets can be notoriously hard to pill, and unfortunately cat wormers are bitter due to the praziquantel (the ingredient that kills tape worms): there are spot on dewormers available like advocate and revolution which kill roundworms and fleas, also profender which is broad spectrum. There is also a lovely product called Broadline- a spot on that kills fleas and is an all-wormer. Just so you know your cat is not deliberately being difficult with the oral wormers, they taste a little like antimalarial tablets, which explains the odd bit of frothing at the mouth! Also remember if you see tapeworm segments in your dog or cat’s faeces or around the anus (they look like white cucumber seeds and are often mobile), to not only use a tapewormer, but also to treat for fleas since this is where they pick up the infection. In this case fleas act as the intermediate hosts.


I’d like to end by looking at some of the diseases that can be passed on to us by worms in our pets. These should motivate us to keep them free of parasites in order to protect our family and ourselves. Besides becoming infested with adult worms in our guts, when we act as final hosts, a gross enough concept, far more serious is when we act as intermediate host for the larval stages. Cutaneous larval migrans affects especially children where hookworm larvae penetrate the skin and borrow around causing red itchy, tracts. The easiest place for them to get this is the sandpit if kitty uses it as a litter box! Visceral larval migrans is when ascarid larvae burrow through various tissues including the eye or the liver. Tapeworm larvae can cause massive cysts in our liver or lungs (hydatids) or even in our brains (Taenia spp) causing convulsions or death.

Please let us know if you’d like to sign up for our mailout parasite programme for worms and/or fleas. That way you won’t have to remember when they should be treated. Also deworm yourselves and your family occasionally if you own pets.

 round worm


Featured link

A moving story about a traveller who adopts a kitten while cycling around Europe, obviously close to our hearts as we rehome kittens right here in Little River!

We've created an online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions or pet food and other animal health products. You can also view invoices and statements as well as update your and your animal's details.

Now you can like us on facebook to receive regular updates (including the monthly news article) and interact with us online

We have beautiful cat greeting cards available to help fund our kitten rehoming and stray cat desexing work. Thanks to Cat Rescue Christchurch  who also generously pay for many of our surgeries on strays! You can hire stock signs for your car or to put on the road, as well as orange flashing beacons and hi-viz vests from us to comply with the new regulations when moving stock. We've put shingle down in the parking area and made it drive through so please park inside and tell us what you think! Also have you noticed our freshly painted roof?

We have a large of foods and animal health products, including the BlackHawk working dog food at great prices. Our cattery has proved very popular, and we've had many repeat customers. Masterpet has taken over the cattery's food sponsorship with BlackHawk cat and kitten food, we'd also like to thank Hills Pet Nutrition for their food sponsorship over the cattery's first 5 years.

We have an inhouse blood analyzer at the clinic, so we can run many tests while you wait. This allows us to offer pre-anaesthetic testing as well as health screening for older animals, and provide an emergency service afterhours and weekends when the Christchurch laboratory is closed. We also now have a portable ultrasound scanner, good news for pregnancy testing.

We once again have the cheap mismating injection available for bitches. This has been off the market for a few years now, but Paul has been able to have some compounded. We have some ideas to help you save on animal health expenses- ask us about very competitively priced BlackHawk farm dog food specially designed at Massey for NZ working dogs, and get to feed a premium, performance enhancing brand. Also the RFID electronic ear tags are now compulsory for cattle and deer. Ask us about ordering NAIT tags for your stock, or about the new tagging requirements. There is a lot more flexibility in what visible tags are acceptable- they don't all have to be yellow! We are able to procure eartags at below recommended retail prices.

We also have a large range of Acana/Orijen, Hills Science Diet and BlackHawk dog and cat food in stock. Paul can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and Thursdays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays.

Animal health information - Archives

Please contact us if you’d like copies of any of these. Many are now available to view as posts on Paul's Linkedin page. Also let us know if you’d like to see any other topics featured here.

A different perspective, Animal welfare, Accidental poisonings, Arthritis, Allergies, Above & beyond, After Hours, Akaroa or bust

Becoming a vet, Birthing & midwifery, Be wormwise this Autumn

Calici vaccination update- rabbits

Dental care, De sexing, Dogs, sheep measles & farm etiquette

External parasites, Euthanasia, EID's, Equine deworming recommendations & autumn animal health advice

First aid in animals. FIV and Feline Leukaemia, Five Freedoms

Grain Poisoning

Happy to be stuck with you, Human-animal bond, Heat Stroke

Internal parasites, Is it too late to spay or neuter my pet? Internet & Google- the good the bad and the ugly, It shouldn't happen to a vet, I don't vaccinate my animals

Kitten rehoming

Lamb rearing

Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, Mycoplasma bovis , Microchipping,

Nutrition, Nutrition in pet rabbits, New Year Animal Health Checklist

Obesity in pets, Onwards & upwards

Poisons in the pantry, primary health care, Plant poisonings, Pigs rule, Pig's Ear, Pathology & blood testing, Pet statistics in NZ, Phamaceuticals- the NZ situation

Rabbit calicivirus, Ramped up rhino, Resistance-squandering a miracle, Road block

Senior wellnessSheep measles

Tapeworm, TB in NZ, The nasties, The big move, The Challenge of Diamond Harbour, The thief, The Driving Lesson, Technology at work, Tom cat vasectomy

Urinary problems in cats

Vets’ cars, vaccination principles- ruminants, Vaccination of dogs & cats, Vet lifestyler

War wounds, Why vaccinate?, World veterinary year, World vaccination guidelines, Wild & stray cats

Yoghurtised milk recipe