It’s not always obvious that your pet has a worm infestation, as they are too small to see. Here’s a few indicators:
• Younger animals may have a pot belly and start to lose weight if they have roundworms.
• Sometimes you can see tapeworm segments, which look like grains of rice, around their bottom.
• Lungworm symptoms include a moist cough, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea, reduced appetite, nose bleeds or bleeding persistently from a small wound.
Roundworms are spread by your pet eating an infected egg either from the soil or in an infected rodent, bird or rabbit. The eggs are passed in faeces and can remain in the soil anywhere where dogs or cats have been.
The most common kind of tapeworm in the UK is spread by fleas. So if your pet has a flea infestation, give them a worming tablet as well as treating their fleas.
Travelling with your pet? They will need to be treated for tapeworm before they re-enter the UK.
These are not common in the UK but can affect your pet if you are travelling abroad. The larvae can be eaten or burrow through the skin of the animal. The adult worms hook themselves to the intestine and feed on blood. Large numbers of worms will cause anaemia.
Whipworms only affect dogs. They are rare in the UK but can be found where there are large numbers of dogs in places such as kennels. Whipworm eggs can be found in the faeces of infected dogs, and then passed on to other dogs through contact with the faeces. They do not cause any health problems for humans.
There are a number of different kinds of lung worm in both cats and dogs. The first sign of an infection is a moist cough, as part of the worm’s lifecycle is spent in the lungs and airways. They can be caught through eating a slug or snail containing the lungworm larvae. Lungworms cannot be treated by conventional worming tablets, so you should consult your vet to treat them in your pet. They may recommend using a spot on wormer during the wet, warm seasons when slugs and snails are particularly prevalent.
Worming is recommended at least four times a year, although more regular treatment for worms may be required if your pet hunts, or gets fleas. Remember, there is no residual effect from treatments – so you can’t use it as a preventative.
We know that some dogs and cats can be especially difficult to worm, so here’s the most effective methods that the pet owners here at Bob Martin have found.
• Skip a meal, so that your pet is really hungry. Try wrapping the tablet in some ham, cheese or chicken or other equally tasty treat.
• Put Bob Martin Clear Worming granules in the fridge for a day before worming as this reduces their smell. Then mix them with some warm meat or smelly sardines.
• Give your pet a small amount of their regular meal, and only offer the rest once they have had their tablet.
• For cats who are notoriously difficult to give tablets too, try our Spot On Wormer for quick and easy treatment of tapeworms.