The common intestinal parasites found in cats and dogs are tapeworms and roundworms. Occasionally dogs kept in multi-dog kennels will be infected with hookworms.

How does my pet get worms?

Most puppies are born with worms or infected very soon afterwards, either through intrauterine infection or via the milk. The latter is also
a route of infection for kittens. The majority of worm eggs ingested by your pet are from grooming as most of the worm eggs are on their coat. This is because they lick their bottoms and then groom themselves. Cats will also pick up tapeworms from eating their hunted prey.

How would I know if my pet had worms?

Most adult animals show few signs of having worms. Occasionally roundworms can be seen if the animal vomits but only the eggs are passed in the faeces and these are too small to be seen by the human eye. Tapeworm can be recognised as flat whitish motile segments, generally around your pet’s bottom or in the faeces.

Why should I routinely treat my pet for worms?

Some worms that affect cats and dogs can be hazardous to humans, especially children, if they accidentally ingested the larvae. Ocular Larval Migrans occurs when roundworms ingested by humans (from their pets) migrate behind the eyes. This can result in partial blindness.
Adult animals may show no signs of ill health despite having high worm burdens. More severe signs are seen in young animals where they can cause poor growth, vomiting, diarrhoea, pot-bellied appearance and intestinal impaction in severe cases.

How do I treat my pet for worms?

We advise treating your pet from 2 weeks of age and then repeating at 5 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks and monthly until 6 months of age. Thereafter we recommend treating your pet at least 4 times annually. You must remember that no de-wormer lasts for any period of time - it literally passes through the intestine, clears out the existing infestation and if your pet ingests further worm eggs, they will mature within 2-3 weeks. In some cases such as cats that hunt it may be necessary to treat every 4 weeks. We recommend use of either Panacur, Drontal  or Milbemax for dogs and for cats Panacur, Milbemax, Drontal or Profender, a spot-on deworming solution applied between the shoulder blades. The advantage of using veterinary deworming medication is that one dose kills all common worm types.

You can buy worming treatments at either of our surgeries. Profender is a prescription-only-medication and a legal prerequisite exists that your cat must have been seen by one of our veterinary surgeons in the past twelve months to allow us to prescribe it for your cat.

Remember that good hygiene is the best way to protect yourself and your pets from worm infestations. Worm eggs can remain viable in the environment from 2-4 years, encourage children to wash their hands after playing with animals, especially when they’ve been outside. Remove your pet’s faeces as soon as they have been passed, especially in public places.

Please contact us and we will be happy to advise and supply suitable preparations together with appropriate dosing instructions.


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