Browsing articles in "Dog Worming Advice"
Dog Worms Online Editor

3 Signs Your Dog Has Worms (& How to Treat)

Whenever our pet shows signs of being off colour it’s a worrying time and we all want to do our best to find out why they’re ill and how we can help them return to their normal selves (even, no, especially, if that does mean those little naughty habits return also).

As part of Merial Animal Health’s campaign to help dog owners prevent parasites, we’ve asked their ‘Parasite Party’ campaign team to offer some top tips to learn more about the most common types of worms and their impact on our dog’s health because beneath the surface they can cause more damage than we know!

Although prevention is always recommended to combat fleas, worms and ticks, learning how to tell if your dog has worms is something you need to know about.

There are many types of worms which can affect dogs, including roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, lungworm and tapeworm. The most common type is the roundworm. It’s estimated that up to three in 10 dogs have roundworms.

Roundworms are highly reproductive – in fact, females can lay up to 300,000 eggs daily, according to the Parasite Party campaign experts.

Dogs that are affected shed these tiny eggs when they go to the toilet. These eggs, although infective after two-three weeks, can stay alive and infective for up to five years, being resistant to high or cold temperature, as well as disinfectants.

Dogs may swallow those eggs by showing an interest, such as sniffing, in other dogs’ faeces. Humans may also be affected by this worm: in particular children, who are particularly at risk as they often play on the ground or in soil where worm eggs may be present (in parks for example); while adults may be exposed during activities in the garden, such as weeding, where dogs may have been.

It’s also estimated that seven in 10 puppies are affected by roundworm and they can be affected from birth as a mother can pass worms to her pups during pregnancy and even in her milk.

Signs Your Dog Might Have Roundworm

Dogs can visibly show signs of having worms with a potbelly, diarrhoea or vomiting, as a result of the worms infecting the dog’s intestines.

Some dogs may also show signs of respiratory illness, such as coughing and pneumonia.

Could Your Dog Have Worms?

If you’re worried your dog might be affected by parasites and you would like further information, you can read more here.

This article was sponsored by Merial Animal Health.

Find out much more about the Parasite Party campaign and protect your dog inside and out online at


Dog Worms Online Editor

Heartworm in Dogs Warning

A leading animal health provider is urging dog owners in the USA to take an important first step towards heartworm testing and prevention by making an appointment with their pet's veterinarian in April, which is National Heartworm Awareness Month.

The good news is heartworm, a potentially life-threatening disease, is easily preventable – but the bad news is most dogs are not receiving heartworm preventive therapy each month, according to Cristiano von Simson, DVM, MBA, director of veterinary technical services at Bayer Animal Health.

"Veterinarians are a dog's best friend when it comes to preventing heartworm and other pathogenic internal parasites, like hookworms and whipworms," said Dr. von Simson. "In fact, they are in the best position to evaluate the dog's medical history and lifestyle and discuss the best plan to provide comprehensive internal parasite protection. Veterinarians can diagnose, dispense once-monthly heartworm preventives and, if necessary, treat the disease."

According to Dr. von Simson, Bayer Animal Health will expand its efforts to educate consumers about the importance of regular veterinary care through a direct mail and email campaign in April that will reach nearly three million pet owners nationwide.

Caused by worms living in the heart and arteries of the lungs, heartworm disease can result in serious damage to these arteries, eventually leading to heart failure, and in severe cases, damage to other organs such as the liver and kidneys.[2] The American Heartworm Society's revised guidelines for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of canine heartworm – issued in January 2012 – recommend annual heartworm screening (antigen testing) and year-round use of preventive therapy for all dogs.[3] However, compliance for heartworm preventives is typically between eight and nine doses a year[4], which does not provide optimal protection, according to Dr. von Simson.

"Preventing heartworm requires 12 months a year of preventive therapy and it all begins in the veterinarian's office," said Wallace E. Graham, Jr., DVM, president, American Heartworm Society. "Veterinarians are experts on dog parasites, such as heartworm, and their ability to both prescribe and dispense preventives increases compliance. When pet owners leave their veterinarian's office, it is essential that they leave with the medicine they need to protect their dogs from this serious disease."

[1] American Pet Products Association, 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey,; accessed March 14, 2012.   

[2] American Heartworm Society, Heartworm Disease – A Serious Threat,; accessed March 14, 2012.

[3] American Heartworm Society, Current Canine Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Prevention, and Management of Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) Infection in Dogs (revised January, 2012),; accessed March 14, 2012.

[4] AllPoints Research 2011, data on file.

Dog Worms Online Editor

How Often Should I Worm My Dog?

Worms. Nasty little devils that they are. No dog owner wants to know their beloved, cute canine friend has become host to these unwanted guests. Further, worms can cause serious – even life threatening – health problems. So how often should you worm?

How often to worm dog

Worm infection from pets at home can potentially lead to serious health risks both for animals and humans.

Many people do not realise that some parasitic worms can cause disease in humans – the so called ‘zoonotic diseases’ – and cats and dogs can pick up worms from just about anywhere in their normal environment, especially the garden, the park and the countryside.

They don’t even have to roll around in the grass to pick them up, just snuffling in the grass or licking their feet clean after a walk can do it.

In recent years there has been a growing recognition of the potential for animals to transmit diseases to humans, with worm-related problems being high on the list of zoonotic diseases.

Of these, Human Toxocariasis and Human Hydatid Disease are perhaps the best-known.

“Pets are human companions and the part they play as they accompany us through life is growing in significance,” said Sabrina Stroud, a dog worming expert with a leading animal health company.

“According to our veterinary telemedicine software, keeping this close relationship healthy is not just an obligation to our animal companions. It also protects people from the transmission of disease pathogens. And to that end, we are constantly developing new products and forms of administration.”

Human Toxocariasis is divided into three syndromes: Ocular Larva Migrans, Visceral Larva Migrans and Covert Toxocariasis and may give rise to signs such as visual impairment, coughing, hepatomegaly and fever.

Previously it was thought that Human Toxocariasis was contracted via the ingestion of worm eggs from contaminated soil. Recently a study has been published which demonstrates that direct contact with worm eggs in the coat of dogs may be responsible for causing toxocariasis in man *.

Human Hydatid Disease is due to the presence of hydatid cysts in a human, and these may be found in the liver, lungs and other sites within the body.

Common types of worms found in the UK include roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms and, in particular at this time of year, hookworms.

Uncinaria stenocephala, or Northern Hookworm to give it its common name, is found in the small intestine. In heavily infested pups it can have some nasty results, such as diarrhoea, anorexia and lethargy.

There is a sharp rise at this time of year as the maturation of the larvae is temperature-dependent. This worm is primarily a problem in kennels, and the usual route of infection is by mouth.

There is evidence to show that 62 per cent of foxes in the UK and 92 per cent of foxes in Ireland are infected with Uncinaria stenocephala. Therefore a country walk or even being in the garden can carry the risk of infection to pets.

The majority of puppies contract some form of internal parasite either before or shortly afterbirth. Although this may sound repulsive to you, it’s a normal part of being a dog. There is no need to be excessively concerned, provided you have your puppy checked and treated promptly. Left untreated, intestinal parasites can cause serious harm.

Therefore, it’s essential to bring along a small, fresh sample of your puppy’s stool when you make your first veterinary visit. When the stool is dissolved, eggs or parasites from this sample will be clearly visible under a microscope. Do not assume your puppy has no intestinal parasites simply because no worms have shown up in the stool.

Adult worms often live exclusively within the intestinal tract; the tiny eggs they release serve as the only clue to their existence. Furthermore, other internal parasites, even as mature organisms, never reach a size visible to the naked eye. Let your veterinarian discover which type, it any, of these parasites inhabits your puppy’s system and treat it accordingly.

Regular worming protects the health of your pet, your family and the public

All animals (including humans) can carry worms at some stage in their lives. These worms are often very small, making it difficult to determine whether your pet is infected.

Most such parasites are closely adapted to their host and in moderate numbers usually cause few visible effects although the damage they cause produces harmful localised injury (i.e. damage to the gut).

The adverse effect of worms is generally greatest in younger animals, however, the major health problems that worms can cause normally result from the worm getting into the wrong host (e.g. a child) where severe consequences can sometimes occur (such as blindness).

Dogs and cats naturally carry two major types of worms – roundworms and tapeworms. Some have complex life histories and may infest more than one type of animal in their life cycle. A good example of this is the flea tapeworm. Here the maggot-like flea immature stage eats the eggs produced by the tapeworm. The egg hatches within the flea and develops in a dog or cat’s intestine when the flea is swallowed during grooming. It is possible that young children can catch this tapeworm from accidentally eating fleas originating on a pet.

The large roundworms of dogs and cats produce thousands of eggs and are commonly seen in puppies. Ingestion of these eggs releases the immature worm, which leaves the gut and migrates around the body of the animal eventually ending up in the intestine, where they develop into egg laying mature adult worms. In older animals they usually stop migrating and become stuck in tissues as cysts where they do little harm. In pregnant bitches these dormant stages re-activate and migrate to the mothers intestine, the milk glands and also directly into the puppies in the womb.

All tapeworms are caught by a pet following the ingestion of raw animal flesh (e.g. mice or birds) containing tapeworm cysts.

One tapeworm of dogs found in sheep rearing areas of the UK is of particular concern. The worm lays eggs that, when eaten from contaminated pasture, develop into large cysts in sheep (hydatid disease). If a human accidentally eats one of these eggs then a similar cyst can develop in the liver or lungs, requiring extensive surgery and (very rarely) proving fatal.

Be a Responsible Pet Owner
Fortunately there is plenty one can do to eliminate the risk of worms…

Remember to dispose of dog faeces safely, cover sand pits when not in use (to prevent cats using them as litter trays), and keep control of your dog in the countryside.

Most importantly, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association recommends that pets be wormed four times a year.

Dog Worms Online Editor

Dog Worms and Children

As we examine the prickly issue of canine parasites, it's worth taking a look at the health implications of dog worms and children. This information article will cover some of the basics about worms and the disease risk to children who regularly interact with dogs.

Animal diseases that can affect humans are called zoonoses. There are several dog diseases that may cause disease in your child; here we will look at three "worms" that can spread from dog to human.

Intestinal Worms are a very common parasite of dogs, and can make your dog very unwell. Treating your dog regularly with an appropriate worming medication will help prevent them from becoming a problem in your dog.

Continue reading »

Dog Worms Online Editor

Paws for Fun and Primp Your Pooch with Plerion!

Not content with disguising a worming tablet as a treat – the manufacturers of Plerion are now giving you the chance to disguise your dog as a rock star – and bag yourself a spa holiday or some M&S vouchers in the process! Owners of willful dogs should read on…

As some dog owners will know only too well no matter how wet or cold it may be outside donning even a coat is just a step too far for some mutts let alone a wig and sunglasses. But step aside Gok Wan because with the Plerion website you can become your dog’s personal stylist without having to instigate a battle of wills.

Simply visit and click on ‘Primp Your Pooch’ where you can upload a picture of your dog and start primping! The lucky owner of the pooch with the most online votes will win spa vouchers to the value of £1000 – voting closes on 31st July 2010.

Dog Worms Online Editor

Canine Lungworms – Lungworms in Dogs

A recent nationwide survey of UK vets revealed that over 25% had confirmed or suspected cases of Lungworm in a dog. But worryingly only 6% of dog owners were aware of the condition’s existence.

lungworm in dogs

Vet Dane Walker from Streatham Hill veterinary surgery in south-west London says: “Most dog owners are unaware of the condition because it is new. Most vets including myself have not been taught about it.” So to rectify this Bayer animal health, makers of the flea treatment Advocate has launched a nationwide campaign to promote lungworm awareness. A Bayer animal health spokesman explains: “The campaign is to raise public awareness of the parasite’s existence. We are running advertisements in the national press, and we have a broadcast campaign featuring celebrity vet Emma Milne from Vets in Practice.”

And the campaign is being backed by Vets from across the UK who are also trying to make owners more aware of the condition. Dane explains: “We are making clients more aware of the condition through leaflets at the surgery and articles on our website.”

Caroline Reay Chief veterinary surgeon at the Blue Cross hospital in Merton adds that the Blue Cross are also trying to raise awareness through displays in the waiting rooms of all Blue Cross hospitals.

So clearly it’s an important issue, but what is a Lungworm? And how does your dog catch it?

There are several variations of the Lungworm parasite, and the majority are found in warmer climates, and are not found in dogs. Different types of the parasite have often been found in farm animals like cattle, and some strains can affect our cats, although this is not common, and those parasites cannot be passed to dogs.

But one parasite does affect our dogs, and it’s this one that’s causing all the concern.

The parasite cannot be passed to humans or to other pets in the house, but the spokesman for Bayer Animal health explains: “The lungworm Angiostrongylus Vasorum is a potentially lethal parasite that can infect dogs. It’s sometimes referred to as the French Heartworm, and left untreated this parasite represents a very serious risk to a dog’s health and can kill.”

He continues: “Dogs become infected with the lungworm through eating slugs and snails which carry the larvae of the parasite Angiostrongylus Vasorum. Most dogs do not habitually eat these garden intruders, they may do so by accident – e.g. when a slug or snail is sitting on a bone or a favourite toy, or when drinking from a puddle or outdoor water bowl. But some dogs do take great pleasure in eating these miniature ‘treats’, and should be considered at risk from infection.”

Animal care manager at the Mayhew animal home, a London based charity and re-homing centre, Gillian Scott adds: “Lungworm is caught via contact with animals that host the parasite. It can also typically be caught from fox faeces as well as from snail or slug slime.”

But Caroline Reay from the Blue cross adds that while it is suspected that the parasite can be caught from the molluscs’ slime this theory is, as yet unproven.

Dog Worms Online Editor

The Importance of Worming Your Dog

Worming should be done at least twice a year. You should also be astute enough to spot the tell tale symptoms if your dog already has a worm infestation. Symptoms can include weight loss, increased appetite, poor coat condition, mucus in the eyes, excessively bad breath, lethargy, constant irritation around the back passage, visible spine, pot belly and in some cases vomiting. If you do suspect your dog as having worms then, although unpleasant, you should closely examine the dogs faeces for evidence of either round or tape worm. Tape worm is rarer and it appears in segments and is flat. The more common round worm is pointed at both ends and looks like small strands of noodles, it is a pale yellow.

If you suspect your dog of having worms but don’t find any evidence in the faeces this does NOT mean that your dog is worm free. Dogs do not always pass worms until they have been well treated. If you are slightly concerned with the prospect of your dog having worms then you must treat it immediately. It is quite common for people to suspect their dog of having worms and yet fail to treat the animal as they believe that the dog is only meant to wormed at a specific date and then wait until that date before worming.

You can not harm a dog by worming it more than twice a year. You must be aware of not worming too much within a short space of time between wormings and even more so with pups but it is not out of the question, in theory, to worm a dog more than 6 times a year if that dog is prone to picking up worms. There are many different worming treatments available. Some are for specifically for the treatment of round worm and others are multi-wormers. It must be noted that dogs can pick up worms other than round and tape but these are rarer.

You will usually find that if your dog still appears to be infested after a good treatment with a quality worming product that your dog may have one of the other forms of worm and vetinary advice should be sought.

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Dog Worms Online Editor

An Introduction to Canine Parasites

Parasites, particularly intestinal worms such as hookworms, tapeworms and roundworms, can be transmitted in a dog’s faeces.

Some tapeworms have fleas as intermediate hosts: the worm egg must be consumed by a flea to hatch, then the infected flea must be ingested (usually by the dog while grooming itself, but occasionally by a human through various means) for the adult worm to establish itself in the intestines. The worm’s eggs then pass through the intestines and adhere to the nether regions of the dog, and the cycle begins again.

Intestinal worms cause varying degrees of discomfort. Heartworm is a dog parasitoid. It is hard to eliminate and can be fatal; prevention, however, is easily achieved using medication.

As the name suggests, an infected mosquito injects a larva into the dog’s skin, where it migrates to the circulatory system and takes up residence in the pulmonary arteries and heart, growing and reproducing to an alarming degree.

The effects on the dog are quite predictable, cardiac failure over a year or two, leading to death.

Treatment of an infected dog is difficult, involving an attempt to poison the healthy worm with arsenic compounds without killing the weakened dog, and frequently does not succeed.

Prevention is much the better course, via heartworm pills which are fed to the dog and contain a compound which kills the larvae immediately upon infection without harming the dog. Often they are available combined with other parasite preventives.

Hydatidosis is caused by a cestode Echinococcus. This is usually noticed among dogs, wild dogs, foxes, etc.

Due to its importance as a zoonosis, these worms are important to treat. Preventing hydatidosis is an easier task than treating the same. Anthelmintics such as praziquantel may help prevent this condition. Prohibition of the feeding of dogs with uncooked offals may be the best prophylactic measure against these tapeworms.

Dog Worms Online Editor

Children and Parasites – What Pet Owners Need to Know

Identifying Parasites

One thing that no pet owner wants to think about is the nasty subject of parasites – or even worse, your pet passing on a parasite to your child. Because of their diet and inclination to eat things they find, dogs are a lot more susceptible to picking up parasites such as worms.

This is why responsible pet owners give their dogs a worming treatment. A dog’s health and happiness will be severely compromised if he picks up worms and the ramifications of parasites being transmitted to members of the family are extremely unpleasant. Continue reading »

Dog Worms Online Editor

Children and Dog Worms

Nasty parasites like fleas, ticks and worms can make life unbearable for your dog. But imaging the stress and trauma if your dog passed on his problem to your children.

Kids are affectionate and love to cuddle and play with the family pet. This close contact could be all it takes for a parasite to move from your dog to your son or daughter.

So it’s important to make sure that your dog isn’t carrying anything that can be picked up by your children. Parasites are more common in dogs than humans due to the fact that we live fairly clean lives and cook our meat. Dogs will happily eat something from the floor or bin given half a chance. Normally this isn’t a problem, but when they come into contact with spoiled meat or the faeces of other dogs (which always causes curiosity in dogs) – the risks of parasitic infestation becomes higher.

However, by preventing parasitic infestation in your dog you are not only protecting him, but you are protecting your family too, especially your children.

How do I protect against parasites?

  • By giving your dog a worming treatment, especially if he’s a puppy
  • By keeping worming treatments up to date
  • By being vigilant and knowing the signs of infestation
  • By keeping your pet and your home clean
  • By giving your dog an anti flea treatment

Protecting against parasites is a part of any responsible pet owners routine. It doesn’t cost a lot and takes hardly any time at all. Most treatments can be mixed in with a dog’s food so he’ll never know that he’s taken his medicine – and the peace of mind from preventing parasites from invading your family is invaluable.

–Buy Dog Worming Medicine & Dog Wormer –

Dog Worms Online Editor

Most Common Types Of Dog Worms & Their Symptoms

All dogs will have worms at some point in their lives with younger dogs being be more at risk. Preventing and treating worms can be relatively easy especially when caught early. There are five main types of dog worms – whip worm, round worm, hook worm and the tape worm and parasitic flat worm.

Here we explain more about these five types of dog worms, the symptoms of dog worms and their life cycle.

(Whip worm, round worm and hook worm).

There are over fifteen thousand species of parasitic nematodes. They can be found in
deserts, in the arctic, in oceanic trenches and in your dog.

Life Cycle:
Anything up to three years.

Symptoms: Weight loss, dull coat, scooting, diarrhoea, vomiting.

Cause: Lack of prevention, infected food, contact with infected carcasses.

Treatment: Oral treatment or spot on treatment, although prevention is more effective.

Luckily in the UK we are not likely to come into contact with some of the more worrying species of parasitic worm and their primary carriers, the mosquito.

Parasitic organisms in general have quite complex life cycles, migrating between several different hosts or locations in the host’s body, including the intestine, the bowel and the heart. Infection usually occurs against biting insects, particularly if it travels orally, but parasites can enter a host via an open cut in unfortunate circumstances. One of the main problems associated with a nematode infestation is the dramatic weight

Since the nematode will live inside the small intestine of its host for most of the duration of its stay, it can easily feed on anything your dog eats, meaning that the nutrition is being diverted and the worm subsequently grows and grows. In addition, anaemia is also a symptom of roundworm infection. Some species of roundworm are bloodfeeders, either they attach themselves to the wall of the gut and suck blood or are pool feeders whereby the worm bites into the gut wall, creating a pool of blood which
they then digest.

Of particular significance to pet owners is the risk of zoonoses, or the transmission of worms from animals to humans. Toxocara canis (the dog roundworm) eggs may be passed to humans in dog faeces or through touching a dog’s coat.

Treatment and prevention are fairly simple, in fact responsible pet owners should ensure that they pick up their pets’ faeces and that their dogs have a roundworm control routine. Treatments do not prevent the parasites from entering the body, but they do kill the worms before they reach sexual maturity and before they can do any harm. It is recommended that dogs are wormed at least four times a year, however if your dog is in regular contact with children, you may wish to use a monthly roundworm treatment, either in a tablet or spot on product, to ensure the risk of transmission is reduced.

There are many species of intestinal worms in Europe, but some of them are restricted to warm climates. One particularly nasty example is the heart worm. This parasite uses a mosquito as its primary host. Once the mosquito bites a mammal, the larvae are injected into the blood stream. Once the larvae reach the heart of the secondary host, they begin feeding on blood. They then grow and this is where the health problems begin. A serious infestation of heart worm can be fatal for a dog, as the symptoms are hard to spot and treatment can sometimes fail.

In order to reproduce, the heart worm distributes its eggs into the bloodstream of its host, and then it is a matter of chance. If the host is fed on by another mosquito, it is that mosquito’s next meal that will become infected with the eggs. If that animal is already a host then the eggs will be fertilised and a larger infestation will occur. It is therefore important to ensure that your pet is effectively protected bowel and the heart. Infection usually occurs against biting insects, particularly if it travels with you with its PETS Passport to continental Europe or further afield.

(Tape worm, parasitic flat worm)

Certain tape worms can grow up to 80ft long inside their host, causing potentially fatal
intestinal blockages.

Life Cycle: Up to 3 years

Symptoms: Weight loss, dull coat, scooting, diarrhoea, vomiting.

Cause: Lack of prevention, infected food, contact with infected carcasses, contact with contaminated soil.

Treatment: Oral treatment or spot on treatment, prevention is recommended. The symptoms and treatment of this type of parasite are very similar to that of the nematode, although the Cestoda have a different adult morphology which is more often segmented, meaning that they can break up without dying. They also posses male and female reproductive equipment, meaning that they can breed independently and do not rely on cross infestations to reproduce.

(Tape worm, parasitic flat worm)

Certain tape worms can grow up to 80ft long inside their host, causing potentially fatal intestinal blockages.

Life Cycle: Up to 3 years

Symptoms: Weight loss, dull coat, scooting, diarrhoea, vomiting.

Cause: Lack of prevention, infected food, contact with infected carcasses, contact with contaminated soil.

Treatment: Oral treatment or spot on treatment, prevention is recommended. The symptoms and treatment of this type of parasite are very similar to that of the nematode, although the Cestoda have a different adult morphology which is more often segmented, meaning that they can break up without dying. They also posses male and female reproductive equipment, meaning that they can breed independently and do not rely on cross infestations to reproduce.

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