ALL pet owners know that routine worming is always recommended for your pet – it helps to keep them healthy and to prevent the risk of illness in people.
The trouble is, it is easy to know what you should do but not always so easy to remember to do it. Often, I will see dogs for annual vaccination and ask if they need worming – their owner will say they think they have done it recently but when we look back through the notes, we realise that in fact they have not wormed their pet in nearly a year – this is not an uncommon occurrence, life gets busy and things get forgotten.
The reason it is important to worm regularly is that worming only kills what is there at the time of worming itself. This means that animals at high risk of picking up worms (such as cats that kill and eat a lot of prey) can re-infest themselves relatively quickly.
Increasingly, as our climate warms and we see more and more dogs come over from the continent, we are seeing more and more cases of Lungworm in dogs. Dogs classically pick up Lungworm from slugs and snails and, as well as causing a cough, Lungworm can cause life-threatening clotting disorders.
So, if a dog has a habit of eating slugs and snails or anything that slugs and snails have slithered over outside, they are at the risk of re-infecting themselves with Lungworm if they are not regularly wormed – in the case of Lungworm this means monthly. It is worth double checking with your vet what worming they recommend for your pet’s lifestyle and then putting those dose dates on the calendar.
Alice Moore is a vet at Castle Veterinary Clinic, Dorchester and Weymouth. Tel 01305 267083