Worms are parasites found within the gut of your pet. Roundworms look
like pieces of string, Tapeworms are long and flat with segments, which
look like grains of rice and are mobile. They can occasionally be seen
on the hair around the bottom. Worm eggs remain infective in the
environment for years.
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 moving through major organs can cause other
illnesses such as pneumonia. Whilst pets with less severe infestations
may show no external signs, they are still a possible source of
infection to others, including humans.
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 Echinoccus can be fatal to humans if ingested.
How would my pet get worms?
Puppies and kittens 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. 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 have to bear in mind that there is absolutely no tablet or injection you can give a pet which will prevent
worm infection. The best you can do is to kill any worms which may be
present on a regular basis, so it is best to choose a wormer that suits
your needs and your pet’s lifestyle.
To avoid worms reaching
maturity and affecting your pet's health, and to reduce public health
risks, you should worm your pet regularly. Worming every three months
will reduce this risk, but ask one of our vets who will be able to
evaluate your pet's health and your family's requirements and advise you
on a specific worming routine for your pet.
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.
Veterinary Centre can provide both over the counter and prescription
flea and worm control medication. From worming tablets to flea and
wormer combined spot-on treatments, we will discuss your pets needs and
ensure that you take home the most appropriate treatment.