There are more than a dozen types of worms that can infect your cat or dog, ranging in size from 5mm to 5metres! They infect most pets at some time in their lives, and can damage your pet's health - or yours!

How do pets get worms?

  • From mum - Puppies and kittens are often born with round worms, which they inherit from their mother in the womb or through her milk.
  • From contaminated soil - by injesting the faeces of infected animals. Eggs can survive in the soil for a year or more.
  • From fleas - fleas can be infected with tapeworm larvae, and pets can easily swallow fleas while grooming themselves.
  • By hunting - by eating mice and other small mammals infected with roundworms.
  • By scavenging - at least 2 types of tapeworm infect sheep - and both can be dangerous to human health. Never let your dog off the lead in sheep farming areas, especially in areas where your dog may find a carcase.

Different types of worms

There are many different types of worms, but the most common are:

  • Tapeworms - These are made up of strings of segments resembling rice grains reaching up to1.5 metres long. They can often be seen in the faeces of pets that are infested.
  • Roundworms resemble tiny pale earthworms or strands of spaghetti up to 15cm long. ROUNDWORMS CAN BE PASSED ONTO HUMANS!

Has my pet got worms?

Symptoms your puppy may present if infected with worms. Heavy infestations can cause:

  • Poor coat condition
  • lack of energy
  • weight loss and a swollen stomach
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • Roundworms or tapeworm segments in faeces or vomit
  • Heavy infestations can be fatal
  • Light infestations can go unnoticed in early stages of infestation. It can be almost impossible to tell if your puppy/dog has worms at all but if left untreated the worms can still be damaging to your pet's health.

Treatments for and prevention of worm infestations

The main point to realise is that each time you worm a puppy or kitten you will only kill a certain percentage of the worms. Therefore it is very important to regularly worm your pet as they are constantly picking up worms from their environment. By worming regularly you will prevent a heavy infestation occurring.

All worming treatments (like most medications) are dependent on your pet's weight, so it is important to weigh your pet for accurate dosing.

For your Puppy or Kitten

We recommend Panacur Paste, Granules or Liquid.

This product should begin from two weeks of age and is to be given once daily for 3 consecutive days.

Repeat at 5, 8 and 12 weeks of age.

For puppies over 12 weeks and adult dogs

We recommend Drontal Plus tablets or Panacur paste/granules

From 12 weeks of age we recommend that you worm your dog every month

Once they reach 6 months of age your dog should be wormed every 3 months, unless instructed differently by your veterinary surgeon.**

For kittens over 12 weeks and adult cats

We recommend Drontal cat tablets or Profender spot-on treatment

Adult cats should be wormed every 3 months

Roundworm Treatment

** The roundworm life cycle lasts around one month, which means that 3 monthly worming treatment is not always sufficient. If you have young children or your pet is often in contact with young children it may be advisable to use a monthly treatment such as Advocate which treats for roundworms as well as fleas and other parasites.

If your puppy or dog has fleas they should also be treated for worm infestation as the two parasites need each other to survive.

For further information on parasite prevention please refer to the Bayer website.