Worms are endoparasites (meaning they live inside your pet), they are found mainly in the small intestine but can affect other body systems such as the respiratory system and blood stream.
The most common are Roundworm and Tapeworm. These are intestinal worms which are commonly found in cats and dogs. They can be passed to puppies and kittens from their mother’s milk or via the placenta. In adult animals they are contracted from the environment through contact with wildlife, eating grass contaminated with worm eggs or contact with other animal’s faeces.
Pets that hunt can contract worms by eating an infested animal.
It is extremely important that your pet is treated for worms as they are zoonotic (can be transmitted from animal to human) and in children roundworm can lead to blindness.
Tapeworms use fleas as a host so if your pet has had fleas there is a high chance it also has tapeworm.
Some animals display no signs of a worm burden; others may display signs of increased hunger, weightloss, foul breath, bloated abdomen, vomiting, diahorrea or an itchy bottom.
Lungworm is another worm which dog owners should be aware of. Living in the heart and lungs it is far less common than roundworm and tapeworm but left untreated an infection with this parasite can be fatal.
Lungworm is carried by slugs and snails and can infect your dog when it eats or plays with these pests, ingests grass with slug slime trails on or even drinks from a bowl that has had slugs or snails on it.
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