What are worms and how can they affect my pet?

There are 2 major types of intestinal worms which can infest your pet’s digestive tract and cause symptoms such as weight loss, irritated bottom and vomiting, these are roundworms and tapeworms.

ROUNDWORMS eg Toxocara canis - more common in dogs, they lay eggs which pass from dog to dog in faeces but puppies can also be born with an infestation passed on from their mother. The eggs cannot be seen in the dog’s motions but sometimes adult worms are passed and resemble spaghetti.

TAPEWORMS - Can grow to be very long and egg carrying segments are often shed in faeces and these look like grains of rice which may move. The lifestyle is more complex and can involve fleas as an intermediate host.

OTHER WORMS - such as hookworm, whipworm, heartworm and lungworm can sometimes cause problems in dogs that have travelled abroad or been kennelled.

What about lungworm, should I be worried?

Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) has recently gained some media attention. It is now considered endemic in South East England and the situation is worsening as more and more cases are seen in other areas of the UK. Dogs can contract lungworm through ingesting slugs, snails or frogs. They can be infected for several years before showing any clinical signs which may include coughing and clotting/bleeding problems so it is often an invisible problem which can prove fatal. Our routine recommended wormer, Milbemax, has activity against lungworm. PREVENTION is better than cure! 

Where should I buy wormers for my pet?

 Prescription quality wormers can only be obtained from a veterinary surgery, these can be accurately dosed to your pets weight and tailored to your pets individual needs. They have undergone more rigorous safety tests so are much less likely to result in unwanted side effects while giving you the reassurance that they will be fully effective.

In order for us to supply your pet with a prescription strength wormer he/she must legally be under our care. This means we must have seen your pet at Highfield Veterinary Surgery within the last 12 months and have an accurate weight. You may ring ahead to order or pop in to reception, there is no need to book an appointment. Our staff are all fully trained in the range of suitable products and can give advice if you are unsure about anything.

Which wormer is best for my pet?

We always try to make recommendations for worming protocols on an individual basis and our staff are fully trained in tailoring a regime specific to your and your pets needs. Below are the routine recommendations.


Under 6 months     Every fortnight from 2-12 wks, then monthly with Milbemax tablets or Panacur.  

Adults                   Every 1-3 months dependent on lifestyle.


Under 6 months     Prior to 6 wks, Panacur can be used; then monthly Milbemax.

Adults                   Every 1-3 months dependent on lifestyle.

Rabbits                 Panacur Rabbit 2-4 times a year.

For all animals, during pregnancy, seek veterinary advice.