Dogs and puppies are healthier when they are free from worms which are parasites that live inside your pet, often without you knowing. Different worms pose different risks, but, if left untreated, some can seriously endanger not only your dog’s health but also your family’s health. As some worms can infect people, with children being most at risk, it is important that all dog owners should ensure that regular worming is part of their pet care routine.

There are many different types of internal parasites (endoparasites) that your dog can be at risk from including roundworms, tapeworms, hookworm, whipworm and heartworm. Your dog is at risk of contracting these worms from contaminated soil as worm eggs and larvae are passed in the faeces of infected animals, and some can survive in the soil for a year or more.  Dogs can also be infected by ingesting fleas when grooming themselves and by hunting as a result of eating small mammals such as mice and rabbits. In addition dogs can become infected with the life-threatening lungworm by ingesting slugs or snails. As these can be very small this can happen by accident if your dog is eating grass, drinking from an outside water bowl or even playing with toys that have been left out in the garden.

Dogs can remain looking healthy on the outside, even if they have a worm infestation on the inside. It may not be until the infestation is severe that as a pet owner you begin to notice symptoms such as weight loss, poor coat condition and vomiting and diarrhoea. With lungworm symptoms can also include, breathing problems or coughing, fatigue, poor blood clotting and anaemia as well as behavioural changes or seizures. All worms can weaken the immune system, and by migration through major organs can cause illness such as pneumonia. Please call the surgery to book an appointment if you notice any of these symptoms as early diagnosis and treatment will give your dog the best chance of a complete recovery. Whilst a dog with a lighter infestation may show no external signs, they are still a possible source of infection to others, including humans.

As always a preventative approach to treating and controlling parasites for your dog or puppy is advised. Our veterinary professionals at Clarendon house will be happy to recommend a specific parasite control plan for your individual pet’s needs depending on age and lifestyle. Worming preparations used for the prevention and treatment of worms come in the form of topical spot-on treatments, tablets, granules and oral pastes. Once again our team at Clarendon House will advise on the most appropriate products for your individual dog’s needs.

Becoming a member of our Healthy Pet Club will enable you to enjoy a wide range of benefits which includes 12 months of flea and worming treatments. For full details of our Healthy Pet Club please visit www.thehealthypetclub.co.uk

If you are concerned that your dog may have a worm infestation or if you would like to enquire as to the best preventative care please contact our reception team and they will be happy to help you.