Hi this is Paul Wise and welcome to the Lawn
Vets video series. In this short video I will be sharing with
you some information on the common worms of dogs and cats.
Adult Roundworms when passed in your pets faeces look like white pieces of spaghetti
several centimeters long. However their eggs are microscopic and you will not be able to
see them. Tapeworms are different and look like moving
grains of rice. Both worms have complex life cycles sometimes
involving intermediate hosts, which fortunately you as owners don’t really need to understand.
Round worms or Toxoacara cause the typical pot bellied appearance that we see in some
puppies. Heavy infestations can block the intestines
completely or they can cause anemia or diarrhoea. Toxocara worms are an important zoonosis this
is the name given to a condition that can transfer from animals to humans.
This is particularly important in young children where the migration of the lobby can cause
several problems the main one which you may have already heard about is when alone they
reach a child’s eyes where they can calls a progressive loss of vision or in some cases
even blindness. They can also go the lungs and liver and nervous system. So one of the
main reasons why we worm dogs and on a regular basis is not just for their benefit but also
for human health too. The fewer Toxocara eggs present in the environment the lower the risk
to our children. Moving onto tapeworms, the most common type
of tapeworm in cats and dogs is Dipylidium. They pick this worm up by ingesting fleas,
because please contain part of the lifecycle stage on that tapeworm. Other tapeworms can
be caught from eating raw meat so this is perhaps is more common in cats with their
hunting activities when they eat rats and mice.
Dogs can also pick up tapeworms by eating raw or under cooked lamb beef or pork.
Lets talk about treatment Depending on the risk of reinfection a typical
worming regime for cats and dogs is worming every 2 weeks from 2-3 weeks until 12 weeks
old, then monthly until 6 months and thereafter every 3 months.
Most worming products merely kill off the worms that are there at the time and some
cheaper pet store or supermarket products are only 80% effective. In general worming
products have little or no residual effect which is why we must use them frequently.
In recent years we have seen an emerging threat in the form of LUNGWORM in dogs. This is picked
up from slugs and snails and can lead to dogs developing a chronic cough, general malaise
or developing clotting disorders. Slugs and snails carry the lungworm larvae, and dogs
can become infected when they accidentally (or purposefully) eat these common garden
pests whilst rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor
water bowls, or pick them up from their toys if they are left out in the garden.
A recent survey1 suggests Angiostrongylus vasorum is now endemic throughout much of
the UK. Not all routine worming medications are active against this particular parasite.
Cats also get lungworm although this is a different species to the one dogs pick up
and appears to be uncommon. As always if having watched this video you
have any questions or if you encounter any difficulties the please phone or email the
surgery, we’re here to personally help give you the very best advice and treatment possible
for your much loved pet.