Worms, your dog and children

All dogs at some time in their life will have worms. All dogs have worms when they are first born and there is no reason to be alarmed.

An adult dog that is healthy can also have worms and unless you check they can be shedding thousands of worms every day in their faeces. If your dog is sick you may even see worms in their vomit, although this is rarer.

There has been a large level of bad press about the infestation of worms from a dog being transferred to children through contamination in parks and playgrounds.

If a responsible pet owner regularly treats their pet dog with worming medicine which is harmless for their pet on a regular basis there should not be a high risk scenario at all.  The problem comes when dog owners skip these treatments, either due to neglect, ignorance or cost.

There are two types of worms in the United Kingdom that can be found in dogs. One is the roundworm and the other is a tapeworm. Both of these worms live on the bits of undigested food in a dog’s stomach and intestine.

If the worms are in small quantities then treatment is effective without your pet showing signs of illness. The only exception is a new puppy as he is smaller, although puppies should be treated for worms more regularly – most dog owners tend to worm puppies as they should because when a puppy is small they think they need more looking after but when they get older, the owner become complacent.

If worried take your dog to your local vet for further advice.

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