Be Worm Wise

Why worm your pets?

The BSAVA now recommends worming your pet every month. This is due to the increasing risk of Lungworm. There has also been recent reports of Tapeworm (which originates in Europe) in Wales. 

Worms can cause suffering, illness and in some cases; death. Some types can even be spread to humans and cause diseases. Puppies and kittens are more susceptible to picking up worms, however, adults are also able to pick them up - worms have no preference!

Do you suspect your pet has worms?

Tapeworms and Roundworms are two of the few that can be seen visually. 

  • Tapeworms look like small pieces of rice and can be found around the tail and rear area, sometimes clinging to hair and/or in the faeces. For this reason, you may witness your pet scooting its rear across the ground. They are irritating and itchy!

  • Roundworms are long white worms that resemble noodles/spaghetti. Occasionally puppies may vomit these up or they can again, be seen in the faeces.

The most common symptoms are: 

  • A very full or 'pot-bellied ' appearance that occurs in a short amount of time. (Mainly seen in puppies and kittens).
  • Regular vomiting and frequent loose stools/diarrhoea. 
  • A decrease in energy or activity levels.
  • Weight loss. 
  • An increased appetite.
  • Their fur is becoming dry and coarse. 

Roundworm in humans

Children are more of a concern, due to poor hygiene standards. The worm eggs are ingested (typically transferred from hands) and may result in the migration of the worm larvae through the body, causing irritation and potential damage.

How are Worms transferred to my pet?

  • Transferred from other infected animals. 
  • Eating the eggs or larvae of worms (e.g. in grass or infected faeces). 
  • Eating raw meat, infected prey animals or parasites.
  • Passed on to puppies and kittens through the mothers milk. 

How to treat/prevent Worms

  • Maintaining regular worming treatments. Ask for advice on the best treatment and method to deworm your pet. 
  • Maintaining regular flea treatments - fleas can carry Tapeworm eggs.
  • Disinfect food and water bowls regularly.
  • Ensure housing and bedding is regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • For rabbits, avoid collecting greens from areas where wild rabbits and rodents have been. Place housing so that contact between wild rabbits/rodents and your pet is minimised.
  • Clean up after your pet and dispose of faeces carefully. 
  • Washing your hands thoroughlty before you eat, and after touching pets/cleaning out housing.

Always consult your vet when worming pregnant animals!

Worm Risk Checker

Print off and complete our questionnaire and bring it to the practice to find out if your pet is at risk of worms.