12th February 2019
Making sure our pets stay happy and healthy is all part of being a responsible pet owner, that’s why we have to keep on top of their flea and worm treatments. Sometimes it can seem quite costly, especially towards the end of the month, and it might be tempting to skip a course.
Regular worming is a way to keep these parasites at bay as preventing worms is definitely better than having to treat them.
What are worms?
There are several different types of worms which can infect your pet but there are two main types of worm that affect our dogs and cats. These are roundworms and tapeworms.
These white worms look a lot like spaghetti and can be transmitted to humans. These are the worms your parents might have warned you about, telling you never to touch dog waste as you would lose your sight.
They were right to do so, too. Although a rare occurrence there have been some cases where roundworm has led to permanent eye damage and sometimes blindness in children, that’s why making sure their treatment is up-to-date is so important.
Tapeworms attach themselves to your pet’s small bowel and can become very, very long. They shed their egg-carrying segment that can sometimes look like a grain of rice, which you might spot on your cat or dog’s fur.
Our pets can become infected by swallowing fleas that carry the tapeworm larvae while grooming themselves, so you’ll want to make sure you keep on top of their flea and tick treatments, too.
What are the symptoms of worms?
Unlike fleas and ticks, as worms live inside your pet it’s not easy to tell if the parasites are using your pet as a home but there are a few general signs to look out for:
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
- A dull coat
- A bloated belly
- Worms in their waste
- Rice-like eggs in their waste
How to treat worms
Depending on the age of your pet, you will want to worm your pet regularly. Younger pets require treatment every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old, which changes to monthly doses until they’re six months old, and then once every three months for an adult dog or cat.
What is the best treatment for worms?
Pet wormers can be bought at your favourite supermarket, local pet shop or at your vet clinic but these may all be different treatments. To make sure you get the proper treatment for your pet, and so they’re weighed properly to get the right dosage, it’s probably best to speak to your vet.
This way, you know you’ll receive the appropriate worm treatment for your pet.
Remember, if worms are left untreated your pet may become very unwell.