Protecting your dog against worms is as much a part of good pet care as diet and exercise. Worms are important because they affect your pet's condition and wellbeing as well as having health concerns for you and your family.
There are 3 main types of worms affecting dogs: (1) Roundworms (2) Tapeworms and (3) Lungworms. Roundworms and Tapeworms are intestinal parasites which can be found in any dog although infection is easily treated. Lungworm affects the heart and blood vessels of the lungs and can cause serious problems
There are several kinds of roundworms including hookworms, whipworms and lungworms. But the most important and most common is called Toxocara. Virtually all puppies are born infected with Toxocara canis. They can also become infected from their mothers' milk or the environment. In puppies roundworm infestation can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, anaemia, a pot-bellied appearance and poor condition. Adult dogs carry a smaller number of worms and as a result will show little in the way of symptoms. Humans can be infected with roundworms from contaminated soil and may be affected by respiratory, abdominal and eye problems. Worm eggs take two weeks to become infective in the ground after being voided in the dogs' faeces. Consequently the responsible early removal of faeces will largely avoid contamination.
The treatment regime for each animal varies as it is very much dependent on their lifestyle. Please ask one of our vets or vet nurses for advice.
Heavy infestations can cause anal irritation, digestive disturbances and poor condition. Segments, which resemble cucumber seeds or rice grains, leave through the anus and deposit eggs on the skin and hair. They may also be seen on the dog's stools.
The most common tapeworm in dogs is Dipylidium caninum. Dogs become infected when they ingest an infected flea (the intermediate host) when grooming or nibbling themselves. For obvious reasons tapeworm therapy should be accompanied by vigorous steps to control any associated flea problems.
The tapeworm Taenia Hydatigena is responsible for Hydatid Disease which is a more serious human disease. Fortunately this disease is largely confined to those areas where there is frequent contact between dogs and extensively grazed sheep or where dogs are fed on uncooked meat.
Please ask one of our vets or vet nurses for guidance on this subject.
Worm Free - advice from the Milbemax website
The lungworm Angiostrongylus vasorum (also known as French Heartworm) is a parasite that infects dogs. The adult of this particular lungworm lives in the heart and major blood vessels supplying the lungs, where it can cause a host of problems. Left untreated, the infection can often be fatal.
The lungworm parasite is carried by slugs and snails. The problem arises when dogs purposefully or accidentally eat these common garden pests when rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or pick them up from their toys.
Foxes can also become infected with the lungworm, and have been implicated in the spread of the parasite across the country.
There are two main problems caused by dogs becoming infected with lungworm:
- Infection with lungworm can cause serious health problems in dogs, and is often fatal if not diagnosed and treated.
- Dogs infected with lungworm spread the parasite into the environment, as the larvae of the parasite are expelled in the dog’s faeces. This increases the chances of other dogs becoming infected.
We recommend monthly applications of a spot-on product called Advocate.