WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
- 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 that live in the intestines of dogs and cats. They feed on digested food and blood. They lay eggs which contaminate the environment and infect other animals.
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
Tapeworm segments resemble grains of rice which may be seen around the tail region of infected pets. Roundworms look like pieces of string. These are seldom seen because the adult worms usually remain internal. The female worm can produce 20,000 eggs per day. These eggs are invisible to the naked eye and can remain infective in the environment for years.
WHAT DO WORMS DO?
Heavy infestations can result in:
- Vomiting and severe diarrhoea
- Loss of blood, weight and condition
- Weakened immune system
Whilst pets with lighter infestations may show no external signs, they are still a possible source of infection to others, including humans.
HOW DOES MY PET GET WORMS?
The answer is very easily! Even the best cared for dogs and cats can pick up worms. Kittens and puppies pick them up through their mother’s milk or even before they are born. Worm eggs are left behind on the ground when infected animals pass faeces and then picked up on the fur of the muzzle and paws. These eggs will then be swallowed when grooming. Cats often pick up worms by eating their prey. Tapeworms are picked up when pets groom and swallow fleas that are infected with tapeworm eggs.
HOW CAN I CONTROL THE PROBLEM?
We recommend Drontal tablets which are highly effective against roundworms and tapeworms. Advocate, Revolution and Nexgard spectra are topical treatments and chews effective against fleas and worms (but not tapeworms). Please ask at reception which formulation is best suited to your pets needs.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TREAT MY PET?
At the moment there is no wormer which will prevent re-infestation. Therefore puppies and kittens should be treated every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age. Between 12 weeks and 6 months they should be wormed monthly. Treating your adult pet (from 6 months of age onwards) every 3 months will minimise the risk to them, your family and the general public.