Worms are parasites that live inside the body. The most common worms that affect dogs and cats are roundworms and tapeworms and these live in the intestines. A mild infection can cause a pot belly in puppies, poor growth and occasional diarrhoea.
A heavier infection in young animals can cause a fatal blockage of the intestines. In adult animals, a heavy infection can cause poor coat condition, vomiting and diarrhoea. The dog roundworm, Toxocara canis, can pose a serious danger to humans. Its eggs are found in dog feaces and if a person touches the feaces and doesn’t wash their hands properly, the eggs can be eaten. Most at risk are children who have contact with family pets or who play in public parks where dogs have been.
Both cats and dogs should be wormed regularly throughout their life to prevent worm infections.