How does my pet get worms and what are the benefits of worming?

There are lots of different worms that affect dogs and cats, but the main two types of worm that we see in dogs and cats are roundworm and tapeworm.


All puppies and kittens are born with roundworms which are passed from mother to baby via the placenta during pregnancy. Bitches with puppies also pass roundworm eggs on to the puppies via her milk as they feed. Roundworm eggs can be picked up by the adult dog or cat by sniffing areas where other dogs/cats have toileted before. Roundworm eggs are microscopic and therefore cannot be seen with the naked eye. These eggs are sticky and stick to any of the pet’s fur that they may come in contact with. When the dog/cat grooms its coat, the eggs are then ingested and the animal becomes infected with roundworm.


Tapeworms are picked up by dogs and cats when eating pieces of raw meat, birds, mice etc, via the ingestion of fleas (fleas carry tapeworm and if consumed in the process of grooming, can pass tapeworm on to the dog/cat) or by sniffing or grooming other dogs/cats bottoms which are infected with tapeworm.

Regular worming is important as worming tablets do not offer any long term protection against worms, but only expel any worms present at the time the treatment is given.

How often do I need to worm my pet and at what ages?

We recommend that puppies, dogs, kittens and cats should have Endectrid (Spot On treatment) applied every month and a Quantex tablet every six months. Endectrid protects against fleas, biting lice, ear mites, sarcoptic mange, demodeptic mange, heartworm, lungworm and roundworm. Quantex should be used every six months to expel tapeworm.

Why does my pet still pass worms after they have had worming prevention?

Worming treatments work by detaching the mouthpart of the worm from the wall of the intestine. Once the worm has become detached from the wall of the intestine, it will be passed in the animal’s faeces. Some worming treatments will kill the worms but others just detach the worms, which therefore will still be alive when passed.

My cat is a hunter do I need to worm her more often?

If your cat hunts you may want to treat him/her more frequently for tapeworm, depending on how often he/she eats what they have caught.

What are the different types of treatment available?

Tapeworm treatments come in tablet and Spot On form. Both the tapeworm tablet and Spot On treatments have no residual effect and only expel any worms that are present at the time of giving the treatment.

Worming tablets (roundworm and tapeworm)

There are hundreds of different brands of worming tablets available on the market. Some are better than others but none of them prevent your pet from getting worms. Worming tablets only last for a few hours and just expel any worms that are present at the time of giving the treatment. We recommend using Quantex (tapeworm only) and Milbeworm (broad spectrum wormer) for routine tablet form worming treatments.