Dogs in the UK may be infected with around a dozen different types of intestinal worm and they range in size from just a few millimetres to a frightening five metres!
It is not always easy to spot the symptoms, and as your vet will tell you, that's why it's best to use Cazitel or milbemax at least every three months to prevent any serious worm infection.
Cazitel and Milbemax are the only wormers to kill every type of intestinal worm commonly found in UK dogs
Symptoms of Worms:
It’s not always easy to determine whether a dog is infected with worms. The most obvious sign is “scooting” – that is, dragging its bottom along the ground. This may indicate tapeworm infection. The dog does it because the egg filled segments shed by the mature tapeworms are expelled via the anus and irritate the dog's bottom.
To avoid worms reaching maturity and affecting your pet's health, and to reduce public health risks, you should worm your pet regularly. Worming with Drontal at least every three months will reduce this risk, but your vet will be able to evaluate your pet's and your family's requirements and advise you on a specific worming routine.
Roundworms (or ascarids) look like short lengths of spaghetti. They grow to around 100 mm in length, and live in the dog’s gut, feeding off the contents. Given that there may be dozens of them in the gut of an infected animal, it’s not surprising that the dog may be undernourished, with a dull coat, and lacking energy. Other symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting and weight loss. Worse still, the most common dog roundworm, Toxocara canis, can also infect people – and children are particularly vulnerable.
Tapeworms resemble long, flat ribbons or tapes, divided up into segments. The mature tapeworm segments are filled with eggs, and individual segments break off, to pass via the dog’s anus into the environment. The commonest tapeworm to affect dogs in the UK is the flea tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum), so called because it uses the flea as an intermediate host. Dogs are infected by swallowing fleas while grooming, and once in the dog’s gut, the worm larva carried by the flea begins to develop into an adult worm, which can quickly grow to a length of 500 mm.
Whipworms and Hookworms:
Whipworms and hookworms can affect both dogs and cats, and both types of worm live off the animal’s blood. Though they are not very big (around 70 mm and 100 mm respectively) their feeding habits can make them very damaging, particularly in young animals, where they can cause diarrhoea, anaemia, weight loss and lethargy. Hookworms, incidentally, are a growing threat, largely because so many foxes are infected.
Lungworm has only become a recognised problem in the UK within the last 10 - 15 years
It spends part of its lifecycle in slugs, snails or even frogs. The danger to dogs arises when small slugs or snails are either purposefully or accidentally eaten.
You might notice coughing, reluctance to exercise, depression, weight loss, fits, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness and paralysis, or persistent bleeding from minor cuts.
Treatment is Advocate a simple and a prescription-only spot-on product.
This treatment also controls other worms, fleas and mites, which means you can address lungworm and a number of common parasites in one application.