Healthspan April 27, 2016

How does your pet get worms/fleas?

Pets often get fleas from environments where other animals with fleas have been rather from than the other animal itself. Your garden, the park or homes where flea-infested animals have been are all likely hot-spots.

Worms can be contracted when a pet grooms themselves or others, or by eating things off the ground. These habits can put pets at risk of getting many types of intestinal worm. In the UK the most common types are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms, all of which can lead to illness both in you and your pet.

What you can do to decrease their chances of getting them?

Worm your pet every 3 months, all year round and administer a flea treatment regularly, regardless of whether or not you currently think they have either of these parasites. It is best to always adopt a preventative stance.

Fleas often infest a pet’s bedding and regular resting areas such as carpets and soft furnishing. In the case of a flea infestation these should all be treated with a suitable insecticide.

For prevention it is important to vacuum and wash your pet’s bedding regularly. To help reduce the likelihood of your pet getting worms try to keep them away from rodents, animal faeces and prevent them from eating things off the ground.

How do I know if my pet has fleas or worms?

Signs of fleas:

  • You may see them when checking your pets fur. These will be dark brown and will often move when you part the fur
  • Scratching, licking or chewing more than usual
  • Hair loss or redness of the skin may occur if your pet has been scratching
  • Shaking of the head

Signs of worms:

  • Visible worms or eggs in faeces, fur, vomit or on rear end
  • Bloating of the stomach
  • Increased appetite or weight loss
  • Diarrhoea

The right way to administer treatments

Follow the instructions on our flea and worming treatments regarding the frequency of application. Make treatment easy with these tips...

Spot-on flea treatment:

Hold the pipette upright then break the snap-off top along the scored line. Part your pet’s coat until their skin is visible. Place the tip of the pipette directly against the skin and squeeze gently several times to empty its contents. Repeat this procedure at one or two different points along the pet’s back, preferably at the base of the head and between the shoulders.

Worming tablets:

These tasty pork flavoured tablets can be given whole or disguised in food. To give the tablet whole, get your dog to sit, open the muzzle and place the tablet at the back of their tongue. Rub their neck to ensure the tablet has been swallowed. Reward good behaviour with praise or a treat.

For fussy dogs, disguise the tablet in their favourite food. To prevent your dog eating around the tablets, give them enough food to hide the tablets, rather than a full meal.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn't possible, supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.



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