Worms are parasites found within the gut of your dog. Roundworms look like pieces of string, tapeworms like grains of rice. While few dogs actually pass live worms, most excrete eggs, which are too small to be seen with the naked eye. It’s the eggs of the roundworm Toxocara that pose such a threat to human health. These invisible time bombs stay infective in the soil for years. This is where the danger lies, particularly for children playing ball games outside, as the microscopic eggs can get onto their hands and under their nails and very quickly transferred into their mouth. About 300 people each year have their sight impaired through picking up a Toxocara egg.
Worm eggs or larvae can be picked up on your dog’s paws and coat and are then ingested when your dog grooms itself. Puppies will pick up a heavy worm burden from their mothers.
Recently there has been considerable attention given to lungworm. This is a not uncommon cause of serious illness in dogs. Light infestations may go unnoticed. However, with heavy infestation, your dog may suffer vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, leading to loss of condition. In addition, a heavy worm burden may weaken your pet’s immune system, making them susceptible to infection. The migrating larvae of some worms can even cause lung damage.
There is a variety of treatments for both fleas and worms available on the market. Our advice to you is to use a veterinary specific product. This is because a large proportion of treatments that are available in pet shops and supermarkets only have a limited effect. In some cases, they can even cause serious side effects. All flea and worm treatments from your vets are licensed and are a lot more effective – making them much better value for money in the long run!
If you are unsure about which product you need, please speak to any of our Pet Healthcare Nurses, who’ll advise you or even administer the treatment for you.
Flea bites cause your dog discomfort and irritation and can lead to skin infections. Fleas can also bite you and your family, as well as causing health problems for your pet, including transmitting tapeworms!
It’s important to treat not only the affected pet, but all pets in the household. Fleas spend a lot of time living in soft furnishings, such as your carpets, sofa, curtains and bedding. It’s just as important to treat your house with a household spray that will kill any eggs and larvae. These products can also be picked up from your local surgery.