Dog Wormers - Why You Need Them
There always seems to be plenty to think about when it comes to owning a dog; feeding, walking, grooming and of course who will take care of them if we go on holiday.
One thing that can so easily be forgotten is dog wormers. However, failure to regularly treat your dog for worms can lead to an infestation. In turn an infestation can cause health issues and discomfort to your pooch.
With this in mind we have put together our guide on worms and how best to treat them. Just make sure that you pop the date of your dog’s last treatment in the calendar.
What are worms?
The worms that can infect your dog are entirely different to the variety you see wiggling around your garden. There are several species and they can be tricky to pick up on.
Here are just some of the more common worms that can infest dogs.
Roundworms are often found in puppies as they are passed on through their mother’s milk. This is why it is important to treat an expectant and nursing mother to ensure that roundworms are not passed on to their young.
They look like spaghetti and can be found in both faeces and vomit.
Fleas are the main carriers of tapeworms; however, dogs can also become infected if they are exposed to the carcasses of animals.
As these worms are segmented they will look more like grains of rice than long strands when expelled in faeces.
Unlike some of the other types of worm, lungworms live in the blood vessels of your dog and will affect their lungs rather than their intestines.
They are usually picked up if your dog eats a slug or snail.
How do I know if my dog has worms?
Worms can be tricky to pick up on. If you are concerned that your dog may have worms, then it is always best to speak to your vet and they can confirm the diagnosis.
There are some signs to look out for, though.
- Worms may appear in faeces, vomit or around the dog’s bottom
- Worms may cause vomiting or diarrhoea
- Your dog may exhibit weight loss despite having a good appetite
- A swollen or distended stomach can indicate the presence of worms
- Coughing is a symptom of lungworm
What are the types of dog wormers out there?
There are different types of dog worming treatments. Treatment may be in the form of tablets but can also be bought as pastes.
It is best to speak to your vet before you start any worm treatment for your dog, just to make sure that you are using a suitable type.
Do worms pose a threat to me?
It may sound like a silly question, but you would be surprised how many owners are concerned about "catching" worms from their dogs.
The truth is, worms can be transmitted to humans as well as from dog to dog. The best way to minimise the risk of transmission is to pick up and dispose of faeces. You should also ensure that your family wash their hands after stroking your pet.
Worms are not something to keep you up at night but it is important to be aware of them and the available treatment options. That way you can ensure that you always have a happy and healthy pet!