Dog Worming Advice
- 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.