Pet Health Diary – Worming

Pet Health Diary – Worming VeloxAA new month can only mean one thing, yes a new chapter on pet health. I am supposed to write this month’s post about skin, coat and nails but instead I have decided to talk about the importance of worming; it kind of ties together with my previous posts about body mass.

We all know about worming but what a lot of people simply don’t understand is why we should worm our pets. It might sound like a bold statement but I have talked to many dog owners and hardly anyone understands the need of worming.

So should you or shouldn’t you worm your pets?

Of course you should.

Even a healthy looking, well cared for pet can get infected with worms.

There are many different ways for your pet to get infected: from an infected nursing mother (this is why puppies have to be wormed more often than adult dogs), through contaminated drinking water or contact with infected animals or their faeces, by eating infected meat (aka road kill) or accidently swallowing an infected flea (yes, fleas can carry worms too this is why it is extremely important to regularly use a flea preventing treatment like Frontline).

There are two main types of worm that can affect dogs: roundworms and tapeworms.

Roundworm is the most common worm and most puppies are born with it. This is also the one that can easily pass to humans. They look like strands of spaghetti and can reach up to 20cm in length.

Tapeworms have distinctive, flat segments and are found in the dog’s intestines. They can cause irritation around the anal region causing dogs to ‘scoot’ along the ground. Tapeworm eggs need to be eaten by an intermediate host, such as a flea, and when a dog swallows the host he becomes infected. Tapeworm can pose a risk to humans too.

In addition to these two specimens pets can also get infected with hookworm or whipworm as well as heartworms or ringworms (this actually isn’t a worm but a fungus which effects the skin).

All worms cause health risks, not only to your dog, but to other dogs, cats and pets in general and to people too — this is why it is so important to worm your dog regularly.

Main symptoms of your pet being infected by worms include:

  • Worms in faeces or vomit
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Bottom scooting
  • Hunger
  • Flaky skin and dull looking coat

When untreated this can cause breathing difficulties, recurring infections as well as general weakness and swelling of limbs.

When it comes to worms it is much easier to prevent them than end up combating the worms later on. Worming is easy, pain free and in most cases hassle free for both you and your pet.

It is recommended to treat adult dogs every three months. The frequency may have to be amended if your dog “hunts” a lot or meets a lot of “shady” characters on your daily walks 😉

There are a lot of worming tablets on the market. Pick one from a recommended source, which will match your dog requirements and when in doubt consult your vet. Try to buy them from the vet or a pet store and avoid auction sites. (Don’t get me wrong I love eBay, Gumtree etc but when it comes to meds I would rather be on the safe side than saving a few pennies).

We used to use Drontal but lately I was introduced to VeloxA. Drontal XL are great but having a giant breed means I need two large pills and “serving” tablets to pets isn’t always an easy and straightforward job. VeloxA resolved this problem by offering chewable and flavoured tablets. Now worming couldn’t be easier! They literally eat it out of your hand.

Was your pet ever infected by worms?

Do you worm your pet regularly?

Pet Health Diary – Body Mass

Pet Health Diary – Body Mass

Well it is the start of the month again so pups in a line and health check time. Whilst checking Lilly’s backbone and ribs for coverage it occurred to me that although I have resolved her problem that it still exists for many people around. In case you’re unsure what I am referring to let me be clear….

Pet obesity is a huge problem and not only in this country. It may be hard to admit but we are actually killing our pets with kindness.

One treat here, one treat there seems innocent enough at the time but all that extra food adds up and the result it’s making our pets fat!

I am not saying that treats are bad, far from it, but we should take them into consideration when planning the daily meal for our pets.

Do you remember our 30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home? During our initial consultation I was given a detailed round up on how much food reduction I should practice to make room for all the additional bits and pieces I feed to my dogs. As it ended up I had to reduce their kibble intake by 1/3 – that’s a big cut down from the general recommendations but it paid off. I am sticking to what I was told and three months down the line our Lilly still keeps her ideal weight; she is no longer overweight; she has much more energy and generally seems to be happier.

Keeping our dogs slim is very important. Overweight dogs have a much greater risk of health issues including arthritis or heart problems and their life span is greatly reduced.

It is really important to stay on top of any weight problem when it comes to our pets. A friend of mine has a lovely Beagle type girl called Hopey; she is really sweet little thing but she is huge… when I met her for the first time I honestly thought she was pregnant and about to have a litter. I was wrong. She is simply obese and the owner doesn’t seem to see it as a big problem… 3kg overweight is not a big deal in his opinion… in my opinion yes it is! When you consider that at her ideal weight she should weigh around 10kg, an additional 3kg is a huuuuge deal; that’s an additional 30% of mass. Can you imagine a human with an additional 30% of his or hers body mass. Just a few kilos might sound innocent (if we discount the significant increase to medical issues) when we think about humans as we tend to start off with a large mass. This doesn’t apply to dogs as they start off with such a small mass so it is not innocent when it comes to dogs.

If you are a pet owner please make sure that you check your dogs or cats weight at least once a month. This is really important. Look at this body condition tool on the Purina website, visit your vet if you are in doubt or book yourself a nutrition visit at Pets at Home.

And as we are talking about monthly health routine don’t forget to check everything else we covered last month; don’t forget to Frontline and de-worm your dogs. By the way very recently I’ve came across some new worming tablets for dogs – Veloxa, which is a tasty beef flavoured chewable tablet so no need to hide it in food in order to persuade your dog to eat it 🙂 This should make things easier for most of us. Has anyone used it?

How is your dogs’ weight?

Is it increasing, declining or stable?

Are they at risk of falling into the category of being overweight?