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What can happen if you don't worm your dog

We’re dog owners too, so we understand that when dogs are part of the family it means they also only add tasks to our life admin to-do lists. So, when you find it difficult to remember things like dog wormer and when to treat for fleas, you’re not alone. We’re sharing some of the main reasons why it should be a priority, to help you and your family get in to good habits when it comes to the health of your much loved pet and your home environment.

Let’s start with the most concerning aspect of worms in dogs, which is often that there are no signs of them at all. Yep, your dog can be playing, sleeping and eating just fine as normal, but inside he may have worms in his organs such as the lungs. Lungworms can stop your dog’s blood clotting, cause difficulty breathing and unexpected haemorrhage posing a huge risk to your dog’s health.

When dogs do show signs of worms, it may be in the form of weight loss, a dry coat, ravenous appetite and a pot-bellied appearance. Puppies are particularly susceptible due to their low immune systems, and worms can quickly infect their intestines. Worms found in the intestines of older dogs can go unnoticed easily, even as your dog spreads dangerous worm eggs in your home.

Other signs to watch out for include:

  • Scratching or rubbing of their rear - dogs with worms will often scratch themselves on the ground or against furniture.
  • Eggs or worms in the dog’s faeces or vomit - this is the most common way to spot infection, but remember that not all worms are big enough to be seen.
  • Worms in the fur or around their rear - you might see Tapeworms moving on your dog’s body.
  • Diarrhoea - any upset tummy should be a cause for concern in your dog, but look out for blood in the stools, which may be a sign of worms

The age- old saying rings true, prevention is better than the cure. Particularly when you consider that a common dog worm, Toxocara Canis, can be passed on to humans. These won’t affect adults too much, but if the eggs are ingested by children they can move throughout their body. If they come in to contact with the eye or brain of the child they can cause seizures or blindness. This is why it is vital that dog worming tablets must given regularly to family pets.

And lastly, if you like to take your dog on holiday, you’ll need to ensure your worming treatment is up to date to enable you to travel. When returning back to the UK, a local vet must confirm tapeworm treatment has been administered, and recorded in their Pet Passport.

Worms pose a health risk to your dog but they are treatable. With regular and appropriate use of dog worming tablets, you’ll drastically reduce the health risks for your dog and your family. Read more about how to administer worming treatment to your dog here.