Does my dog have worms?
Unfortunately, intestinal worms are pretty common in pets – and even the best-kept canine citizens can be susceptible. Young pups can become infected with worms through their mother’s milk or from contact with the faeces of other infected puppies, whereas adult dogs can potentially become infected from coming into contact with the faeces of other infected dogs, or from eating contaminated soil or wildlife.
How can I tell if my dog has worms?
Symptoms of gut worms will vary depending on your dog’s age and the type of worm they are carrying. The most common types of intestinal worms are:
Roundworm, which can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and poor body condition
Hookworm, which feeds on blood through the intestine, and can therefore cause weakness and anaemia (low red blood cells)
Whipworm, large infestations which can cause chronic diarrhoea and weakness
Tapeworms, which mostly just cause bottom irritation, but may cause intestinal upset if in large numbers
Young puppies tend to be more severely affected by gut worms than healthy adult dogs.
How can I treat and prevent intestinal worms in my pet?
Regular deworming of your pet with a gut all-wormer product should prevent them from developing significant worm issues. Keeping pets dewormed can also help to protect your family’s health, as some intestinal parasites carried by dogs can affect humans as well, with the most serious being the hydatid tapeworm, found in rural areas.
A traditionally recommended deworming protocol involves treating young puppies every two weeks until they are 12 weeks of age, and then deworming every three months thereafter. Dogs can also be dewormed if worm eggs are found on faecal testing, or if they show signs of intestinal worms – such as losing condition, poor coat, or rubbing their bottom.
Dogs in rural areas (particularly on sheep farms) may be recommended to receive tapeworm treatment every six weeks.
If you’re feeling squirmy about canine intestinal worms, ask our team for more personalised recommendations on keeping your dog worm-free!