Worms are a common health problem amongst a variety of average pets in the UK, including dogs, cats, horses and rabbits. It’s essential to treat your pet for worms regularly to effectively remove the worms alongside the eggs they lay. If you treat your pet regularly it usually won’t cause them much discomfort if any, however the longer you avoid treating the pet the harder it becomes to treat them effectively.
Some of our pets are known to become victim to intestinal parasites, commonly known as worms. Some animals, such as dogs, are born with worms and as such treatment should start straight away. There are many types of worms, but the main ones that effect pets in the UK include lungworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms. Depending on which type of worm your pet is carrying depends on what symptoms it may have, and the best treatment for it. We sell dual wormers that target all worms, or, we have more precise wormers to target specific types. As well as the worms that live inside your pet, they lay larvae/eggs that can lay dormant if your pet isn’t properly treated.
Dogs – From birth, puppies should be wormed at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 weeks. From 12 weeks old, it’s recommended you treat your dog every 3-6 months throughout their lifetime.
Cats – Treatment for kittens usually starts after 6 weeks of age. After the initial treatment, it’s recommended to treat your cat every 3-4 months depending on which brand of treatment you choose.
Horses – Worm treatment for horses vary massively, and most people choose to base their treatment around their horse’s worm count. On average, a horse will need worming for various different types of worms about 3 times a year.
Rabbits – Again, each brand of worming treatment for rabbits vary massively in terms of frequency. On average, you should worm your rabbit 3 times a year.
Having worms can affect each pet differently, depending on what type of worms they may have and what animal they are. For dogs, it’s common to see a sudden increase in hunger, alongside rapid weight loss. This is due to the worms stealing the dog’s nutrients, meaning naturally that your dog becomes hungry more quickly. Depending on the types of worm in your dog’s system, they may start vomiting or have diarrhoea, as well as displaying a pot-bellied appearance. Like with all animals, the longer you leave the worms without treatment, the more symptoms your pet will start displaying. The symptoms for cats are very similar and are usually easier to spot as they’re more likely to have blood in their stool or visible worms. For horses, worming can cause much more serious symptoms and horse worms are known to cause diseases such as larval cyathostominosis. The warning signs are pretty similar to dogs and cats, with a heightened appetite, pot-belly, weight loss and diarrhoea. Other symptoms such as stomach ulcers and mouth sores can also be caused by certain types of worms, which can then lead to more serious health issues. Ponies and horses under the age of 5 are more likely to contract larval cyathostominosis, a mass emerge of previously dormant larvae in your horses gut. This releases small redworms from the gut wall, and can cause severe diarrhea, colic and even death. This is most common during winter and early spring months, and horse owners should be vigilant looking out for warning signs. If you need any advice on the best product for your pet, or how to treat them, get in touch with the specialist Vet Medic team.