There are three classes of worm that we are worried about in our pets. These are lungworm, roundworm and tapeworm. Lung worm, in particular, can cause serious disease and be fatal in dogs and is not killed by many standard wormers.
Regular worm treatment is critical to any pets continued health. Call us now on 023 8040 6215 for advice or an appointment.
**regular worm treatment is included for members of the Adelaide Pet Care Plan
The lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a parasite that can cause serious health problems in dogs and can even be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.
Slugs and snails carry the lungworm larvae, and dogs can become infected when they accidentally (or purposefully) eat these common garden pests whilst rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or pick them up from their toys.
Some of the symptoms of lungworm infection can include:
Poor blood clotting that can lead to uncontrolled bleeding
Treatment is available and can result in full recovery, but as this parasite can be fatal it is important to consider prevention. Preventative products are available and with monthly use prevention is easy to achieve. Please ask us for advice on which product to use as many worming products don’t kill lungworm.
Most puppies and kittens are born with roundworms or are infected within the first few days of life via the mother’s milk.
Round worm eggs are passed in dogs faeces and can survive on the grass and in soil for several years. Dogs and cats are infected by ingesting these eggs.
Roundworm eggs are invisible to the naked eye and the adult worms stay inside your pet, so you are unlikely to know that they are infected unless the infection is particularly severe. Worming of puppies and kittens should be started at two weeks old to protect your pet and family and should be repeated every few weeks until 12 weeks old and then monthly until 6 months old. After 6 months old pets should be wormed at least every 3 months. Please note that lungworm is harder to prevent and so needs monthly treatment with specific products.
If you wish to breed from your bitch or queen, please ask for advice on worming during pregnancy to reduce transmission to the litter.
Once your pet starts to go out and about he/she may then pick up tapeworms. Tapeworms are picked up commonly from fleas (by your pet ingesting infected fleas) and also from eating small rodents or raw meat. If your pet has tapeworms you may see segments of the worm around the anus and in the motions. These look like flattened rice grains. If your pet becomes infected with tapeworms it is important to also treat for fleas as these are the most common source of infection.
Why should I worm my pet?
In young animals worms can stop your pet from thriving, and even kill them. Older animals become fairly resistant to the effects of intestinal worms (but not lungworm) so, especially with round worms, you will often have no idea that they are producing eggs. Although they may not harm your dog these eggs can infect people, especially children and in extreme cases can cause blindness in children. Worm eggs can be present on your pets fur so can be transmitted to people just by stroking an infected dog's fur.
Tapeworms in this part of the country tend to be less of a risk to people but can still be a nuisance for your pet. In other parts of the U.K., such as Wales, The Lake District and the West Country moors, tapeworms can pose a serious risk to human health so treating for tapeworm is advisable after a visit.
How often should I worm my pet?
This depends on your pet’s lifestyle. For dogs we recommend lungworm treatment every month. This will also control roundworms. If you are not using lungworm treatment we would recommend worming every three months, especially if there is regular contact with children. Worming should begin from two to three weeks of age and be repeated every fourteen days until twelve weeks of age and then monthly until six months old. After that they should be wormed every three months for the rest of your pet’s life. Picking up your dog’s faeces will also help to reduce the chance of transmission.
For cats that go outside we recommend a round and tapeworm treatment at least every three months.
Please contact us for advice about the most appropriate treatment for your pet. A range of effective and safe treatments are available in drop-on or oral forms. Most of these products will be included for our Adelaide Pet Care Plan members.
You should also remember to use recommended flea preparations regularly to reduce the likelihood of tapeworms.
For any further advice or for worming treatment, please ask a member of staff