The Importance of Worming Your Pet

Just like their human owners, even the healthiest of pets can develop a range of illnesses and diseases. Parasite infestations, including worms, are one of the most common types of health problems likely to affect your pet at some point during their lifetime. Thankfully, veterinary medicine has evolved so that there is now a variety of different preventative treatments that can protect your pet from the serious and sometimes deadly effects of worms.

What are worms and how are they spread?

Worms are the name given to parasites that live mammals, including humans. They are parasitic because they There are many different types of worms, and while they look very similar, there are often a few differences between them. They can also affect your pet in a variety of ways, and what starts as a mild irritation may become a life-threatening condition without treatment.

One of the reasons that worm infestations are so common is because the worms are so prolific. In fact, just one worm can produce as many as 100,000 eggs each day. These are then passed out into the infected animal’s feces, and spread wherever the animal decides to do its business. Unfortunately, because animals are so prone to putting their noses, paws and mouths where they shouldn’t, this makes it very easy for the eggs to be passed into your pet, who is oblivious of the danger posed to him.

Types of worm

While there are many different types of worm, we are going to explore just a few that are likely to pose a threat to your pet.


Roundworms are the most commonly diagnosed internal parasite in pets. They are also the most likely to be able to be transmitted to the human members of your family, where they can travel throughout your body, causing serious and even fatal infections.

Roundworms are long, thin and white and can normally be seen in feces and vomit.


Heartworms are an extremely dangerous variety of internal parasite, and have been known to kill or seriously debilitate pets that they infect. The main reason for this is because heartworms live in the heart, lungs and bloodstream of their host, major parts of the body that can cause death to occur if they are compromised.

Heartworms can only be contracted if an animal is bit by an infected mosquito. This makes them more prevalent in some locations than others. A fully-grown heartworm can reach up to 30cm in length and looks very much like cooked spaghetti.


Hookworms live inside your pet’s intestinal tract, attaching themselves to the lining of the wall and feeding on his blood. Eggs produced by hookworms pass through the digestive tract and out into his feces, where they can then infect passing animals. Hookworms don’t need to be ingested to be contracted, and they can actually develop through contact and penetration of the skin. Unfortunately, hookworms are another variety of worm that can affect humans, causing mild to extreme discomfort.

Hookworms are small, thin and usually less than an inch long. This means they may not always be visible to the naked eye.

The health risks of worm infestations

Whatever type of worm infestation infects your pet, it will certainly create a number of unpleasant and debilitating symptoms, as well as posing considerable risk to their health. Some of the most problems experienced by infected pets include:

- Constant hunger

- Constipation

- Coughing

- Diarrhea

- Difficulty breathing

- Dry, flaky skin

- Dull coat

- Infections that persist even after treatment

- Lethargy

- Rubbing/dragging their rear end along the ground

- Skin problems

- Swollen limbs or belly

- Visibly underweight

- Weakness

- Weight loss

- Worms visible in their feces or vomit

How worming can help

When it comes to parasite infestations, prevention is always better than cure. Worming is the best way of protecting your pet, and subsequently the other animals and humans in your home, from contracting any type of internal parasite.

Animals can usually be wormed from a very young age, and starting as soon as you are able to is advisable in order to give your pet the most all-encompassing protection. Our veterinarian will be happy to advise you what preventative treatment is most suitable for your animal. They will also recommend a thorough worming program that you should very closely adhere to so that your pet doesn’t have any gaps in his parasite protection.

Other preventative measures that you can take include scooping up your pet’s poop as soon as possible after it has been deposited, preventing your furbaby from scavenging and combining your pet’s worming treatment with flea prevention. This is because fleas carry some types of worm, including tapeworm.

Worming is an essential part of your pet’s care. If you have any questions, contact and speak to our veterinarian for further advice and to arrange your pet’s appointment.