Intestinal worms are no picnic. They can cause a whole host of health problems in your pets including diarrhoea, tummy pain, weight loss and anaemia. In extreme cases, they can even be fatal. As if that’s not bad enough, they can also do some serious damage to people too!
If you’ve already dewormed your dog, that’s a great start! But because dogs love to explore their surroundings using their mouths, they’re constantly at risk of picking up new parasites.
That’s why sticking to a regular worming regime is the best way to keep your family members (furry and otherwise) safe and protected against the wrigglers.
What are the most common types of worms in dogs?
Roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm and whipworm are the most common types of intestinal worms found in dogs in the UK.
Roundworms can stunt the growth and development of puppies, and tapeworm infestations can cause intestinal obstructions which can be fatal. Sometimes surgery is required to get rid of them.
Intestinal roundworms called Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina pose a serious threat to people too – young children and those living with auto-immune deficiencies are most at risk. If Toxocara roundworms infiltrate a person’s eyes or brain, they can cause seizures, epilepsy or blindness – it’s serious stuff.
Symptoms of intestinal worms in dogs and puppies
You shouldn’t wait until your pet shows symptoms of having worms before treating them. Frighteningly, your four-legged friend could be acting completely normal but may have worms feeding, growing and multiplying deep inside their intestines. When pets do show signs of worms, it’s usually at the point when there’s a serious infestation.
You might notice your dog drag their rear end across the floor (this is called ‘scooting’) because the worms crawling around are making them itch – it’s a horrible thought.
The following additional symptoms may indicate that your dog has a worm infestation:
- Weight loss
- Dry, coarse coat
- Diarrhoea or vomiting
- Change in appetite. Roundworms feed off your dog’s stomach contents causing an increased appetite. Worms can equally make them feel bloated and uncomfortable, leading to loss of appetite.
- Blood in their poo
- A pot-bellied appearance
Get in touch with your vet if your dog has any of these symptoms. If possible, take along a sample of their poo or any worms you find so that your vet can identify the worm. This will help them to recommend the right treatment and get that tail wagging again!
How often do puppies need worming?
Puppies should be treated at 2 weeks of age every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age. Thereafter, they should be treated at least every 3 months. Pups should only be wormed under the supervision of a vet.
How often do adult dogs need worming?
It’s recommended that adult dogs are dewormed at least every 3 months. There may be situations when more frequent treatment is necessary, especially in roundworm infestations. Please chat to your vet about what to do in this case.
If your dog lives with small children or those with weakened immune systems, has a raw diet or likes to hunt, they should be treated monthly.
Pregnant dogs should only be wormed under the supervision of a vet (and not during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy).
Worming treatments for your dog
Help is at hand! Itch worming tablets kill all types of intestinal worms commonly found in dogs in the UK. We’ll tail-or your pet’s treatment plan accordingly depending on the details you share with us. Itch Wormer arrives via your letterbox when it’s time to treat your pet, making it extra easy to keep the nasty wrigglers at bay!