Worm infestations are very common in both dogs and cats - many infected animals do not show outward signs, so it's important to have a worm control programme in place as advised by your vet. If your animal is infected you may see worms in faeces or vomit, or around your pet's bottom. Animals can pick up worms in a variety of ways:
- From other infected animals
- From eating the larvae or eggs of worms (e.g. in infected faeces or in grass)
- From eating raw meat, infected prey animals or infected parasites
Worms are parasites that live inside dogs and cats, usually in their intestinal tracts. Dogs and cats with worms can develop diarrhoea, lose weight and develop swollen abdomens. The most commonly seen worms are roundworms and tapeworms.
Roundworms look like strings of spaghetti and can be transmitted to puppies or kittens from birth via the placenta or suckling. They can also be picked up from the environment and do also pass to humans. Human infestation with roundworms can be a serious problem, especially in young children when it can cause blindness.
Tapeworms look like flattenend grains of rice and can't be passed directly from one animal to another but have to develop on a host i.e. a flea. If your pet is passing tapeworm segments then you must treat for fleas as well as worms.
Lungworms are only found in dogs and can be picked up by eating infected snails or slugs. Infestation can cause coughing, bleeding and nervous signs.
Worming your pet will get rid of any worms which may be present at the time, but it will not prevent re-infestation. Because of the ease with which dogs and cats can become infected, we recommend routine worming every 1-3 months in adult animals (at least once a month for puppies and kittens). We stock a variety of worming products at our small animal reception, including a new spot-on wormer and flea treatment for cats to be given on a monthly basis - no more struggling with tablets!
For more information on the products we have available and current offers please contact our small animal reception on: 01572 722646.