What are roundworm?

Roundworms are large white worms that live in the intestine of your pet, feeding on gut contents.


How does my pet get roundworm?

Pets pick up roundworm by ingesting eggs from the environment and in the case of puppies and kittens through their mother’s milk. Puppies are born with them.


How do roundworm affect my pet?

There are often no outward signs but severe infestations can cause


  • Pot belly

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Poor growth


Can I catch roundworm?

It is thought that up to 22% of parks and 38% of domestic gardens contain Toxocara eggs. Recent studies have shown that up to 25% of dogs have eggs in their coats.


Larvae from these worms can infect man, usually with no consequences unless either the challenge is massive (Toxacariasis) or one larva migrates to the eye (Ocular Larval Migrans). Infection can be by mouth



What are tapeworm?

Tapeworm live in the intestine of your pet. They are segmented and once mature release packets of eggs (segments) which are passed out in the faeces. You may see these as rice grain like things that move about!!


How does my pet get tapeworm?

Pets pick up tapeworm by eating all or part of a so called intermediate host (fleas, mice, rabbits, sheep and other small mammals). The tapeworm eggs are eaten by these hosts and undergo development into tissue cysts in the host.


How do tapeworm affect my pet?

There are often no outward signs but occassionaly the segments can cause irritaion round the anus. Severe cases may cause vomiting and diarrhoea.


Can I catch tapeworm?

In rare cases, and if humans inadvertently ingest some types of tapeworm eggs, cysts can develop within body tissues


(Dogs only)


What are lungworm?

Lungworm, Angiostrongylus vasorum has been found in south west Scotland only rarely. The worm involved is a parasite of dogs and foxes. They live in the heart and pulmonary arteries and can be fatal to dogs.


How does my pet get lungworm?

Lungworm is caught by ingesting the infective larval stages in slugs and snails. Frogs may also act as an intermediate host.


How do lungworm affect my pet?

Symptoms can vary and can include


  • Coughing, breathing difficulties and exercise intolerance.

  • Poor blood clotting leading to excessive bleeding from minor wounds or nose bleeds, bleeding into the eye or coughing up blood.

  • Behavioural changes – seizures, spinal pain, weight loss.


Can I catch lungworm?



Treatment  & Prevention

Puppies & Kittens

As puppies and kittens get worms early in life they should be treated at about 2-3 weeks old and should be regularly treated up to 6 months of age. The frequency will depend on which product is used.


Adult dogs and cats should be treated at least 4 times a year but this frequency may need to be increased depending on the lifestyle of your pet-

  • Cats that hunt a lot may require worming monthly

  • Cats and dogs fed raw meat should be wormed more frequently

  • If there are children in the house then four times a year should be the minimum and potentially more often

  • Travel abroad - monthly worming is important whilst abroad