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Worms 

Most owners are aware that roundworms and tapeworms are common intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. Occasionally dogs kept in multi-dog kennels will be infected with hookworms.

Worm life-cycles can be as short as two weeks, which means that frequent deworming is necessary. Worm eggs can remain viable in the environment from 2-4 years. 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. Worms from pets can infect people and cause serious illness. Moorfields Eye Hospital deals with 20-30 cases per year caused by Ocular Larval Migrans (this is when roundworms are ingested by humans (from their pets) and these worms migrate behind the eyes and can cause partial blindness).

The majority of worm eggs ingested by your pet are from self 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. Tapeworm can be recognised as flat whitish motile segments, generally around your pet’s bottom.

We advise deworming 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 deworming your pet at least 4 times annually. You must remember that no dewormer 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 it is necessary to deworm every 4 weeks. We recommend use of either Panacur® or Milbemax® for dogs® and Panacur®, Milbemax for Cats® 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 dewormers at any of our surgeries. Worming products are prescription-only-medications and a legal prerequisite exists that your pet must have been seen by one of our veterinary surgeons in the past twelve months to allow us to prescribe it for you. For those clients re-ordering worming treatments please telephone your local branch at least 24 hours prior to collection.

Remember that good hygiene is the best way to protect yourself and your pets from worm infestations – 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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