Vet holding dog and cat

Focus on worms

Both dogs and cats need to be regularly treated for worms. The most common form of worms are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. Most of the time your pet can be infected with worms without you even knowing. Because of this, both dogs and cats worming schedules should be followed closely to prevent them from infection.

In this article, we will explore the different types of worms that can infect your pet.

Vet holding dog and cat
It is essential to stay on top of worming treatment for your pet

Roundworms

This is the most common type of worm in both dogs and cats. Adult roundworms live in the intestines of our pets and can produce 200,000 eggs per day. Many pets don’t show any signs of being infected, however in major cases of infection the symptoms are:

  • Rapid breathing, nasal discharge and cough, sometimes pneumonia
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Poor overall condition, weight loss and a poor coat
  • Faeces with spaghetti-like worms up to 18cm

Whipworms

Whipworms aver 4 – 7.5cm in length and can live up to 1.5 years. Their eggs are very resistant and can remain infectious for up to 5 years in the environment. Whipworms usually only infect dogs and cause problems especially in kennels. Most infections are without symptoms but sometimes can lead to slimy diarrhoea and fresh blood.

Hookworms

These worms live in the small intestine and feed on the lining of the intestines and can be potentially fatal. Hookworms also suck blood which can lead to internal blood loss. In older animals, the blood loss may be chronic, and the pet may have diarrhea and show weight loss.

Tapeworms

This tapeworm is largely harmless and is transmitted via fleas and sometimes lice. Cats and dogs can catch a flea and eat it, and in doing so can infect itself with the eggs of the tapeworm that are inside the flea. Tapeworm can grow to up to about 50cm but a pet will only show symptoms when there are many of them – such as diarrhoea.

How to protect your pet

It is essential to stay on top of worming treatment for your pet. Take note of their last treatment and when their next treatment is due to ensure that they stay protected at all times. As well as a timely treatment there are extra things you can do to keep your pet protected:

  • Disinfect food and water bowls regularly
  • Annual wellness checks with your veterinarian.
  • Pick up after your pet regularly
  • Keep their common areas clean

Man petting happy brown dog

Is your fur baby up to date with parasite protection?

It is that time of year for Spring cleaning and organising, a great time to add making sure your fur baby is up to date with their parasite treatment into the spring-cleaning schedule. Fleas and worms can be very harmful to your pet and cause them much discomfort. Here, we go through some symptoms to look out for and the best way to make sure your furry family member is protected all year long.

Man petting happy brown dog
Is your fur baby up to date with parasite protection?

Fleas are parasites that live externally on the skin of an infested animal. Flea’s bite in order to draw blood from their host, this can be irritating and painful to animals while also causing damage to their skin.

Adult fleas are small, dark insects visible to the naked eye who move quickly around the host animal. While fleas are often difficult to see, ‘flea dirt’ (flea faeces) can often be seen in the coat or on the skin when the hair is parted.

How to know if your pet has fleas

Contrary to popular belief, fleas do not always cause excessive scratching. It is possible for some animals to show little evidence of flea infestation. Some cats will scratch at fleas only when they are not being observed. Other animals can be more sensitive and will scratch and bite intensely at the area, which can lead to infection. Your pet could also be allergic to flea’s, causing severe skin reactions.

Symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Redness of skin
  • Bald patches
  • Visible fleas on your pets’ skin

Signs that your pet has worms

While roundworm and tapeworm are the most common variety of infestation, there are many different types of worms that can infect your pet. Some worms are transferred via animals such as mice, rats or even insects like fleas, while others can be transferred through environmental contamination in high-risk areas where there is a lot of animal traffic such as dog parks.

Different types of worms tend to have similar symptoms; however, it is important to remember that your pet may not show symptoms at all!

Symptoms of worms in your pet may include:

  • Noticeable weakness
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Weight loss and
  • Abnormally swollen stomach

Managing fleas and worms

Prevention is the key to managing both fleas and worms in your pet. Treatments can come in the form of tablets or topical treatments that are applied directly to the skin. It is crucial to follow the instructions on your chosen treatment and that you are treating your pet at the proper time, whether it be a 1-month or 3-month treatment, to ensure that they are always protected.

We have put together a handy treatment schedule so you are 100% sure that your pet is protected, and you can track when they need their next treatment. Save the image and print it to hang up at home.

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, make an appointment so see one of our veterinarians as soon as possible to receive proper treatment.

Parasite Protection Calendar
Parasite Protection Calendar