Worms are not only unpleasant to see, they can cause serious illness in cat and dogs.  Rarely, worms from dogs and cat may affect children, specifically roundworms from puppies and kittens.  For these reasons it is important to regularly treat your pet with a worm treatment, known as endoparasiticides or anthelmintics.

“Wormers” are used to treat and/or prevent roundworms (nematodes), tapeworms (cestodes), and lungworm disease.  Fleas can carry some types of tapeworm eggs so it is important that your pet is also regularly treated for fleas.

There are different methods of giving endoparasiticides to your pet; most common are topical spot-on treatments, tablets, or oral paste.  Products are available that can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits.  Always read the label and only use a product licensed for the species intended.

How often should I worm my pet?

Adult dogs and cats need routine worming every 3 months.  Most products are prescription only, but can be dispensed provided we have seen your pet within the last year.

Puppies and kittens need more frequent dosing.  Puppies should be treated at 3, 5 and 7 weeks of age.  Kittens can be wormed from 6 weeks of age.  Not all “wormers” used in adult dogs and cats are safe for young animals; please contact the practice to discuss suitable products for your puppy or kitten.

Can my children be affected by my pet’s worms?

Yes – particularly round worms especially from young puppies and kittens.

What if I miss giving a dose?

Give the missed dose as soon as possible, and then continue on the dosing programme.  Never give your pet two doses of “wormer” at once.

Potential side effects

Although any drug can have side effects, it does not mean that there is necessarily a high risk of any of these occurring. There are very few side effects when endoparasiticides are given at the proper dose. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinary surgeon.