Worms are not only a nuisance they can also cause health problems. Even healthy looking dogs are likely to have some worms which can be passed on to people, potentially leading to serious illness. Risks to humans include Toxocariasis which, transmitted by roundworm eggs, can cause blindness. There is now a new threat to the UK dog population in the form of lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum). Recently reported in the national press, this parasite is carried by slugs, snails and even frogs. The problem arises when dogs purposefully or accidentally eat these pests when rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or pick them up from their toys.
Thus, at Gatehouse we recommend a tablet called Milbemax.
There are two types of worms we are primarily concerned with – Roundworms and Tapeworms.
Roundworms – are relatively rare and while a potential risk to humans are easily controlled by an effective wormer. As the eggs are microscopic it can be difficult to tell if they are infected. Often only seen if some are brought up by a bout of vomiting.
Tapeworms – these are the most common parasite. Recognised by white segments appearing by their rear end.
What is the best product to use – There are a large number of products but the only products with the active ingredients capable of killing both types of worms are: Milbemax or Profender. Both these products are stocked at Gatehouse Vets. The website www.profender.co.uk provides lots more information on worms in cats.
In what form are these products available – Milbemax is available as a tablet. Profender is available in the more user friendly form of a Spot-on.
How often to use – As hunting and fleas are the two main sources of these worms then they determine how often you should worm your cat.
If your cat rarely catches prey and/or rarely has fleas - Worm every year (at annual vaccination if it suits you)
If your cat occasionally catches prey and/or occasionally has fleas - Worm every 6 months
If your cat regularly catches prey and/or regularly has fleas - Worm every 3 months
Thankfully, your pet Rabbit should get far less worms than his/her wild cousins. However, he/she may well encounter some internal parasites and one is a particular danger to pet rabbits – a protozoan called Encephalitozoon cuniculi. To combat against such infections at Gatehouse we recommend you give your pet a preventative treatment with a drug called ‘Lapizole’ daily for 9 consecutive days and to repeat this process every 3 months.