Worms to watch for

Douglas Paterson
Douglas Paterson

There is a worm that is very common and yet puts people, particularly children, at great risk. It is easily preventable by worming your dog at least every three months. Children are at risk as they play outside and place contained objects and dirt in their mouths. The worm can cause blindness in young children.

The worm, Toxocara, can infect dogs and cats.

Many dogs (between 10-40 per cent of adults and 80-90 per cent of puppies) have the worm present in their body.

These dogs periodically pass the egg stage of the worm in their faeces and contaminate the environment as a source of infection to other animals and humans, hiding in grass playing fields and child’s sandpits etc.

The vast majority of dogs with toxocara show no signs of the infection. However signs can be severe in humans, especially children.

Humans normally become infected by the accidental ingestion of eggs from sources contaminated by faeces.

How do we prevent this worm?

Vets recommend worming every 3 months – this is for the average dog or cat, hunters will need done more frequently.

Please also buy worming tablets from your vet because that way you know that you will get the correct dose, and the prescription wormers definitely work.

Pregnant, lactating bitches and their puppies have the highest load of the worm and should definitely be wormed regularly so please see your vet for advice on this.

Lastly, hygiene is important.

Remember that pet faeces should be picked up immediately and disposed of straight away.

Sandpits should be covered to prevent cats using them as litter boxes.

In fact. I would go as far to say that you shouldn’t let your children play in public sandpits unless you know that they are covered when they are not being used.

Always wash your hands before eating after playing with pets and handling dirt.

And, make sure you wash off all fruits and vegetables and thoroughly cook meat before you eat it.

Sorry for all the gory details!