It isn’t uncommon for us to get a phone call from a very worried pet parent telling us that there are worms around their pets back end. Often our first question is; do they look like rice or like noodles. We don’t ask this to satisfy our warped sense of humour- knowing what they look like means we can pick the best treatment for Fido and Fluffy.
For the record: roundworms look like spaghetti noodles and tapeworms look like rice.
Unfortunately, worms are not always a visible problem. Most of the time the worms that pets pass are actually microscopic eggs. Just because you aren’t seeing worm segments doesn’t mean your pet is parasite free.
Here are some other physical signs to watch out for:
- An increase in appetite
- Weight loss
- Poor hair coat
- Soft stools or diarrhea
- Over grooming the hind end area
We recommend prophylactic treatment of worms at least twice a year, but if you would prefer our skilled nurses are happy to run a fecal test and look for microscopic evidence of worms. Although they are not 100% accurate, fecal testing will let you know if, and what kind of worms are present, so we can recommend treatment.
Fortunately most worms are easy to treat. In some cases a single tablet or application of the appropriate product is enough to clear the infestation. There are lots of wormers that are combined with flea control or even tick treatments so that your pet only has to take one dose once a month, to prevent fleas and worms.