Intestinal worms – why you should worm your pet

 Intestinal worms blog image

It’s not nice to think that your pet maybe suffering from worms and in close proximity to you and your family too. 

We explain what to look out for and why it’s important to make this a regular pet care treatment.

What are intestinal worms?

There are many different types of intestinal worms  that can infect your pet, including Hookworms, Roundworms, Whipworms and Tapeworms. They live in the inner organs or bloodstream of your pet and will infect your pet’s gastro-intestinal system. 

How does my pet get worms?

Pets can become infected by intestinal worms by a number of ways including;

  • Ingesting eggs in soil and infected larvae from birds or small animals
  • Ingesting the faeces of another infected animal
  • Passed between mother to puppies – either before birth or whilst nursing

Tapeworms can also be caught from fleas which is why worming is recommended alongside a regular flea treatment. Humans can also get worms from the faeces of an infected animal, which is something to be aware of.

What are the signs of intestinal worms in pets?

Pets infected with worms may show some, but not all, of these signs:

  • Diarrhoea (sometimes with blood)
  • Weight loss in spite of increased appetite
  • Dry and coarse hair
  • Vomiting (perhaps with worms in the vomit)
  • Pot belly (in kittens and puppies)
  • Anaemia
  • Blood loss and overall weakness

However, it is possible that your pet could be infected without showing any visible signs, for example worm larvae in your pet’s body may only be activated during times of stress.

This means that it is important to worm your pet regularly as it’s very difficult to prevent, but regular treatment is necessary to reduce the worm burden.

What are the long-term implications?

As parasites, worms will feed off the existing nutrients inside your pet’s body. This means your pet will become weaker over time, and less able to overcome common, otherwise less serious illnesses. In severe cases, where worms haven’t been noticed and are left untreated, worm infections can actually lead to death.

How to prevent worms in pets?

Regular treatment

You should regularly give your pet a worming treatment specifically formulated for their species type (e.g. cat or dog), size and weight (never give dog treatment to a cat or vice versa).

One treatment may not cover all types of potential worm infections, so you should speak to your vet about which types your pet is most at risk of catching.  They will also advise you how you should treat your pet – even more important to seek advice if your pet is pregnant or has any other underlying health issues.

Once you have spoken to your vet, you will either be recommended an over-the-counter treatment or a prescription.

General housekeeping

Regularly disinfecting your pet’s food and water bowls, especially if they have been left outside can help prevent worms, just be sure to use a disinfectant that won’t harm your pet.

By regularly washing any soft furnishings that your pet has access to at 60°C can kill any worms and larvae that could be there. You should also wash your hands thoroughly (with hot water and soap) after touching your pet to prevent any potential worms spreading from them to you and your family.

What about lungworms?

If you’re a dog owner, then you should also be aware of lungworm. Previously in southern England and southern Wales, there’s been an increase of cases in northern England and Scotland too.

Your dog could get lungworm by eating larvae found in infected snails, slugs or frogs. They can also accidentally eat infected tiny slugs if they are on a toy or in their fur.

Symptoms vary but can include coughing, breathing problems, abnormal blood clotting and reluctance to exercise. As usual, if you are worried about the health of your dog, seek advice from your local vet immediately.

If you live in one of the areas where lungworms have been reported, talk to your vet about a suitable worming treatment which specifically treats lungworm.

Here are just some of the widely available intestinal worming products.

Ridaworm Plus Tablets for Dogs - 2 Tablets on Animed Direct

Ridaworm Plus Tablets For Dogs - 2 Tablets

Ridaworm Plus Tablets for Dogs are for the treatment of mixed infections with gastrointestinal ta...

Our Price: £4.49

Dronspot Spot-on Solution for Medium Cats - Single Pipette on Animed Direct

Dronspot Spot-on Solution For Medium Cats - Single Pipette

Dronspot Spot-On Wormer for Cats works fast to fight all types of intestinal worms in a single ap...

Our Price: £6.93

Veloxa Chewable Tablets for Dogs on Animed Direct

Veloxa Chewable Tablets For Dogs

Veloxa Chewable Worming Tablets for Dogs are a broad-spectrum anthelmintic for treatment of mixed...

Our Price: £1.82

Drontal Plus Tasty Bone Shaped Worming Tablet for Dogs on Animed Direct

Drontal Plus Tasty Bone Shaped Worming Tablet For Dogs

Drontal Plus Flavour Bone Shaped Worming Tablets are for the treatment of roundworms, tap...

Our Price: £1.69

Drontal Oral Suspension for Puppies 100ml on Animed Direct

Drontal Oral Suspension For Puppies 100ml

PLEASE NOTE: We can only legal...

Our Price: £13.82

Endogard Plus Flavoured Worming Tablet on Animed Direct

Endogard Plus Flavoured Worming Tablet

Endogard Plus Flavoured Worming Tablets are for the treatment and prevention of Roundworm,...

Our Price: £2.07

Cestem Flavoured Tablet for Large Dogs on Animed Direct

Cestem Flavoured Tablet For Large Dogs

Cestem Flavoured Wormer Tablets - Large Dogsare for adult dogs weighing over 18kg and up t...

Our Price: £3.89

Buster Pill Giver - Soft Tip on Animed Direct

Buster Pill Giver - Soft Tip

Directions for the Buster Pill Giver - Soft Tip:The soft tip holds the pill wh...

Our Price: £2.74

Panacur Small Animal 10% Oral Suspension - 100ml on Animed Direct

Panacur Small Animal 10% Oral Suspension - 100ml

Panacur Small Animal 10% Oral Suspension is a ready to administer oral wormer for dogs, ca...

Our Price: £18.99