Worms to worry about
Commonly when we worm our pets we are thinking about roundworms and tapeworms - but lately there has also been an increase in cases of lungworm associated disease in dogs, so any worming treatment you give to your dog should include treatment for Angiostrongylus Vasorum or lungworm.
Puppies and Kittens
Puppies and kittens should be wormed monthly until they are six months old with our recommended product for their age and weight - this is to control any worms that may have reached the young animal from its mother. Repeated doses are required as the worms may only be killed while in the guts, not during their migration through the young animals body - our team will advise you on the latest products.
Six months of age and older
After 6 months of age, common advice used to be to worm dogs and cats between two and four times a year - but the latest advice and combined products on the market advise treating them more often. However this will depend on the lifestyle of your pet, so our team will advise you on how to provide the best protection. Cats should also be wormed more frequently if they hunt and eat wildlife - also tapeworms are passed on by fleas so it's very important to treat for both fleas and worms. Dogs should be wormed more frequently if they spend time in the same areas as small children as the dog round worm, Toxocara can very rarely cause blindness if contracted by humans - its so important to be responsible for your dog's mess and clean it up - worming them regularly will help safeguard yourself and others from health problems associated with worm eggs building up in the environment.
Pregnant bitches can be wormed daily from day 40 of the pregnancy with the product recommended by your vet, this is to to try and reduce the flow of worm larvae from the dam to the growing pups - then the pups are wormed monthly or as advised by your veterinary team. Remember that wormers should only ever be obtained from veterinary surgeries or pharmacists trained to advise you as as many 'over the counter products' have very limited effect.
What do worms look like?
Tapeworms can be very long worms and are made up of individual segments. The most common evidence of a tapeworm though is seeing a small, sticky white segment, with the appearance of a rice grain, being passed or crawling out of the animal's anus. Animals become infected with tapeworms by eating an intermediate host. Intermediate hosts include fleas, worms, snails, slugs, frogs, rodents, and birds. Tapeworms are not usually a particular problem in puppies and kittens but are fairly often seen in cats due to the prevalence of cat fleas.
Roundworms vary in size but are classically described as having the appearance of spaghetti or noodles. Roundworms can be contracted by eating intermediate hosts as with tapeworms, by eating grass or other vegetation with eggs on and in young animals from their mother via the placenta and milk.
Lungworm has become more prevalent recently and it is not really clear why this is - but it is to be recommended that a routine wormer for your dog should always now include treatment for lungworm. The intermediate hosts for these worms are slugs and snails - so your dog is particularly at risk is they eat grass, soil and mud outside or leave their toys in the garden. You will not see these worms as they live within the heart and blood vessels supplying the lungs - but if your pet unfortunately becomes infected you may see symptoms such as coughing, depression, vomiting, weight loss, diarrhoea - all could be signs of other diseases. The vet will be able to run tests to determine if they have been infected and treat accordingly. To protect your pet we advise regular flea/worm treatments with our recommended product - please talk to our team for more information.