Dog Worming Advice

Key Points

  • Worms are a threat to the health of your family and your pet
  • Regular worming is necessary to control infestations

What are worms?

Worms are parasites found within the gut of your dog. Roundworms look like pieces of string. Tapeworms are long and flat with segments, which look like grains of rice and can be mobile. They can occasionally be seen on the hair around the bottom. Worm eggs remain infective in the environment for years.

What can worms do to my dog?

Heavy infestations can result in vomiting and severe diarrhoea and cause a loss of blood, weight and condition. Worms weaken the immune system and by migration through major organs can cause eg Pneumonia. Whilst pets with lighter infestations may show no external signs, they are still a possible source of infection to others, including humans, especially children.

What can worms do to my family?

The greatest threat to human health is the eggs from the roundworm Toxocara. They may be picked up from the environment by children chewing dirty fingernails. Although serious consequences are rare, these worms can cause blindness, heart problems and epilepsy. Also the tapeworm Echinococcus can be fatal to humans if ingested.

How would my pet get worms? 

Puppies may be born with worms or they may pick them up through their mother’s milk. Worm eggs are left behind on the ground when infected animals pass faeces, then picked up on the fur of the muzzle and paws. These eggs may then be swallowed while grooming. Pets that hunt can pick up worms by eating rats and mice or raw meat. Some worms can get into the body through the skin. Tapeworms can be picked up when pets groom and swallow fleas that are infected with tapeworm eggs.

How can I control the problem? 

You are best to choose a wormer that suits your needs and your pet’s lifestyle. There are a number of different forms available so even if administering medication is difficult, there will be a solution for you. Some are even available combined with flea preparations providing an all-in-one treatment! We have found that some over-the-counter wormers simply lack the efficacy of the prescription wormers.

How often should I treat my dog? 

Pups should be treated every 2 weeks until 3 months of age and then monthly up to 6 months. Treating your adult pet every 3 months will minimise the risk to them, your family and the general public.

 

Cat Worming Advice

Key Points

  • Worms are a threat to the health of your family and your pet.
  • Worms are very common in our pets.
  • Regular worming is necessary to control infestations.

What are worms?

Worms are parasites found within the gut of your cat. Roundworms look like pieces of string. Tapeworms are long and flat with segments, which look like grains of rice and can be mobile. They can occasionally be seen on the hair around the bottom. Worm eggs remain infective in the environment for years.

What can worms do to my cat?

With mild infestation your cat may still appear healthy, however a heavy worm burden can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, weight loss and can weaken your cat’s immune system making it more susceptible to infection. It is also a little embarrassing to find a tapeworm segment on the cloths of a visitor who has been making a fuss of your cat.

What can worms do to my family?

The greatest threat to human health is the eggs from the roundworm Toxocara. Children chewing dirty fingernails may pick them up from the environment and although serious consequences are rare, these worms can cause blindness, heart problems and epilepsy. Also, the Tapeworm Echinococcus can be fatal to humans if ingested.

How would my cat get worms?

Worm eggs and larvae are picked up from the ground where infected faeces have been left. During grooming your cat ingests these eggs or larvae. Tapeworms can be picked up when pets groom and swallow fleas that are infected with tapeworm eggs. Hunting cats are particularly at risk – small mammals and birds are a major source of tapeworms.

How can I control the problem? 

You are best to choose a wormer that suits your needs and your pet’s lifestyle. There are a number of different forms available so even if administering medication is difficult, there will be a solution for you. Some are even available combined with flea preparations providing an all-in-one treatment! We have found that some over-the-counter wormers simply lack the efficacy of the prescription wormers.

How often should I treat my cat?

At the moment there is no wormer that will prevent re-infestation. Therefore kittens should be treated every 2 weeks until 3 months of age and then monthly up to 6 months. Treating your adult pet every 3 months will minimise the risk to them, your family and the general public. Hunting cats will often need to be wormed at least every 3 months.