Fleas are carriers of tapeworm and are a common cause of worm infestation if dogs swallow worms when grooming. Worms may also be caught from an intermediate host e.g. Rodents, birds, rabbits etc.
Regular flea treatment is very important.
Worm infestation is very common in dogs which can distress and ill health particularly in puppies. They can become infected at any time and therefore routine treatment is strongly recommended for the two main types of worm.
There are various types of round worm that are spread from animal to animal. They are like an earthworm in shape (although much thinner), whitish or pale in colour and live in the animal’s intestines. They vary from 1cm to 8cm (1/2 inch to several inches) in length and their eggs are usually passed whole in the motion or vomited. Roundworms are normally present in puppies, which may be infested from birth, if left untreated may lead to poor condition, illness and even death in severe cases. All puppies should therefore be treated for roundworms every two weeks before weaning and then several times more up to 6 months and periodically thereafter. Pregnant and nursing animals should also be treated.
Roundworms & People
Worms can be passed onto humans if roundworm eggs are accidently ingested, e.g. from fingers, from plates which pets have licked or from contaminated soil in gardens, parks etc. This can cause health problems especially in young children and on very rare occasions can lead to serious eye conditions.
These worms consist of whitish segments with a head which attaches itself to the intestine. Mature segments of the tape break away and may be seen in the motion or around the base of the tail, resembling flattened grains of rice which may at first show some signs of life.
Tapeworms do not usually develop in young puppies, but from the age of 6 months periodic dosing of dogs is recommended. Tapeworm infestation is not always apparent, but a heavy infestation may lead to a poor coat, poor condition and weight loss. Anal irritation can also be a symptom of infestation.
Johnson’s Treatment for both Roundworms and Tapeworms
In the interest of health and hygiene, dogs over 6 months should be dosed 3-4 times a year for both roundworms and tapeworms in a single dose.