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Why should you regularly treat your Dog for Worms?

The eggs of worms that affect dogs are widespread in the environment, and your pet is exposed to them every day. These eggs come from the faeces of other dogs and cats that have worms. Many healthy adult pets carry a small number of worms, but regular worm treatment keeps these numbers low to prevent disease. There are many species of worm that can affect dogs and cats in this country, but for practical purposes they can be divided into 2 main groups: tapeworms and roundworms:
 

Tapeworms

The symptoms of heavy tapeworm infestations are occasional colic and chronic diarrhoea accompanied by a voracious appetite. Listlessness, a shaggy coat and loss of weight are also frequent signs. Mature segments present in the rectum often produce irritation in dogs, but rarely in cats. However, cats and dogs often carry light infestations of tapeworms without showing visible signs, although the characteristic segments or chains can often be seen in the faeces or in the fur around the anus.
 

Roundworms

Small numbers of roundworms, particularly in the adult animal, cause no signs. Though they will be producing large numbers of eggs and adding to the level of potential infestation in the environment. Heavy infestations, which occur particularly in puppies and kittens, result in digestive upsets, general listlessness and failure to grow. Frequently, the animals have a pot bellied or tucked-up appearance and look "poor". Migrating larvae in puppies can damage a variety of tissues, especially the lungs, resulting in a cough and possible secondary pneumonia.
 

How to Protect Against Worms

The first thing is to accept that worms are a potentially serious problem and they are present at any time. The objective is to keep worm levels constantly low and not just to treat pets when the adult worm is seen in the faeces.

Apart from regular and accurate worming, undertaken at least every 3 months, there are other sensible precautions, which should be taken:

Train your dog to defecate in street gutters and not in areas used by children, such as parks. Remove dog faeces, especially those from pregnant bitches, from the garden and public places. If possible, do not allow your dog to roam unsupervised in public places. Forbid children to handle lactating bitches or cats and sucking puppies and kittens. Discourage dogs from licking human hands and faces.
 

Some Pets are More at Risk

Young animals are born with worms passed from their mothers. Frequent worming in the first few months of life is critical to the health of puppies and kittens. Pets living in high-density areas and kennel situations are exposed to large numbers of worm eggs even if they have no direct contact with other dogs. Pregnant and lactating dogs and cats should also be wormed regularly to reduce the number of worms passed on to their young.

 
 
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