Worms – what are they?
Worms – such as roundworms and tapeworms – are extremely common among household pets, and can pose a real risk to your pet’s health. Once infected, your dog or cat should be treated immediately to avoid further complications.
In dogs and cats, worms can cause weight loss, vomiting, breathing difficulties and diarrhoea. Your pet may develop a bloated or ‘pot’ belly and the worms may even be visible around your pet’s bottom. These uninvited guests can be picked up from fleas, other animals, grass and their own faeces. Even indoor cats are susceptible to getting worms from either existing fleas or coming into contact with contaminated soil, although this is more unlikely.
There’s no doubt about it: worms are unpleasant for both pets and owners. No one likes to see their beloved furry friends unwell and, if left untreated, these unsavoury visitors can spread to humans as well.
The sooner your pet is treated for an infection the better, and worming advice from vets recommends having your pet checked for worms every six months to a year. That way, if an infection is picked up, it can be treated quickly.
What sort of signs should you be looking out for?
If your cat or dog is displaying uncharacteristic behaviour, such as vomiting or suffering diarrhoea, and if it starts to lose weight – regardless of how much or how little it eats – worms could be the culprit. Worms can also cause itching and irritation in the posterior, so your pet may start dragging its bottom across the floor to relieve this – a sure-fire sign!
Another clear way of identifying worms on cats is to look for evidence of worms either in their faeces or around their bottom. It’s usually easy to identify these wiggly creatures, but if you’re unsure, search for a substance that looks like uncooked rice grains or sesame seeds where your cat sleeps – these may be dead tapeworm segments.
How to deworm your pet
To deworm your pet, it’s advisable to go to your vet, who will prescribe worming tablets or put them on a specialist worming programme, rather than doing it yourself with shop-bought medication.
Whilst it’s impossible to totally prevent your pet from getting worms, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of a worm infection. For example, regularly disinfecting your pet’s food bowls with pet-safe cleaning agents, disposing of your pet’s urine and faeces quickly and safely, regularly grooming and cleaning your pet, and ensuring your pet is free of fleas are all effective measures.
You can keep your pet in top condition with our grooming wipes and grooming kits – our range includes scented, gentle grooming wipes for keeping puppies clean between baths, as well as full grooming kits for long-haired dogs.
A groomed, clean and healthy pet is a happy pet – so by regularly deworming your furry companion and maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, worms can be kept at bay. Take a look at our selection of grooming wipes and grooming kits to ensure your pet’s coat is kept glossy and healthy.