Worms can be very unpleasant for you and your pet, luckily they’r preventable. Regular worming treatment will help to protect your pet from worms.
Worms are parasites that live inside the body. There are many different types of worm that can affect pets, but the most common are roundworms and tapeworms, which affect dogs and cats (and people!). Lungworm is also a growing problem for pets around the UK:
- Roundworms live in the small intestine. Young animals get them from their parents and adults can pick them up out and about. In puppies and kittens, a mild infestation of roundworms can cause a pot-belly, poor growth and occasional diarrhoea. A more severe infestation can cause a nutrient deficiency or a life threatening blockage of the intestines. In adult dogs and cats, severe roundworms can cause poor coat condition, vomiting and diarrhoea. Sometimes, you might notice entire live worms in your pet’s sick or poo. The dog roundworm Toxcoara canis, can be especially dangerous for people and children. The larvae, which develop inside the person, can cause blindness. Toxocara eggs can remain infectious in the ground for many years. This is why it’s so important to worm your dog regularly and always clean up their poo.
- Tapeworms also lives in the small intestine.They shed segments which are passed in poo. These look a bit like grains of rice and can sometimes be seen around the tail and the area around your pet’s bottom. Pets with tapeworms might also excessively lick or groom their rear end. Some tapeworms can be passed on to your pet by fleas, so good flea control is an important part of preventing these worms.
- Lungworm is a potentially fatal parasite carried by slugs and snails. Dogs can become infected through eating slugs or snails, or by eating contaminated grass from snail trails, which can gets on toys too. Lungworm can make dogs seriously unwell and, although they can recover from them with the right treatment, it’s best to try and prevent them from getting infected. Cats can also get lungworm through infected birds, frogs, rodents or by drinking contaminated water.
Signs that your pet has tapeworms or roundworm include:-
- Passing worm segments in poo
- Pot-bellied appearance
Signs of lungworm include:-
- Changes in behaviour such as low energy (lethargy)
- Breathing problems, coughing, tiring easily or fainting
- General sickness including weight loss, diarrhoea, vomiting and not wanting to ear.
- Bleeding problems such as bruising easily, blood blisters on the gums, pale gums or nose bleeds.
Treatments for worms
There are many different treatments for worms. Some are tablets and others are spot on treatments. We will be able to advise which wormers are best for your pet and how often to give them. Please contact any of our four surgeries today.