Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Worm control

Contributor(s): Eran Dvir, Ian Wright


  • Dogs may harbor nematode (roundworm) and cestode (tapeworm) infections, most inhabiting the intestines. Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum Angiostrongylus vasorum) is now endemic throughout most of the UK and growing in prevalence. Intestinal worms and A.vasorum are the main considerations for worm control regimes in UK dogs, however, worms may be present in other organs, especially in dogs traveling abroad.
  • There is an increased risk of importation of non-endemic species with the increase in the numbers of animals entering the UK under the Pets Travel Scheme (PETs Pet Travel Scheme ) particularly since there has been a recent relaxation in the rules. Dogs traveling abroad will also be at risk of exposure to novel worms such as Dirofilaria immitis Dirofilaria immitis and Spirocerca lupi Canine spirocercosis and Echinococcus multilocularis Echinococcus multilocularis.
  • Some worms carried by dogs have zoonotic potential such as Toxocara canis Toxocara canisEchinococcusspp and Ancylostoma braziliense Ancylostoma braziliense. Worm control programs should identify dogs at high risk of transmitting zoonotic pathogens and risk be minimized accordingly.
  • Worm control centers on suitable anthelmintic regimes and environmental control.
    Print off the owner factsheet on Worm control Worm control to give to your client.

Worms commonly infecting dogs

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Deworming frequency

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Environmental management

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Overgaauw P A & van Knapen F (2013) Veterinary and public health aspects of Toxocara spp. Veterinary Parasitology 193 (4), 398-403 PubMed.
  • Philbey A W (2013) Detection of Angiostrongylus vasorum in red foxes in Scotland. Veterinary Record 173 (6), 148 PubMed.
  • Becker A C, Rohen M, Epe C et al (2012) Prevalence of endoparasites in stray and fostered dogs and cats in Northern Germany. Parasitology Research 111 (2), 849-857 PubMed.
  • Mastin A, Brouwer A, Fox M et al (2011) Spatial and temporal investigation of Echinococcus granulosus coproantigen prevalence in farm dogs in South Powys, Wales. Veterinary Parsitology 178 (1-2), 100-107 PubMed.
  • Morgan E & Shaw S (2010) Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in dogs: continuing spread and developments in diagnosis and treatment. Journal Small Animal Practice 51 (12), 616-621 PubMed.
  • Koch J & Willesen J L (2009) Canine pulmonary angiostrongylosis: an update. Veterinary Journal 179 (3), 348-359 PubMed.
  • Wright I & Wolfe A (2007) Prevalence of zoonotic nematode species in dogs in Lancashire. Veterinary Record 161 (23), 790 PubMed.
  • Wolfe A & Wright I P (2003) Human toxocariasis and direct contact with dogs. Veterinary Record 152 (14), 419-422 PubMed.
  • Wolfe A, Hogan S, Maguire D et al (2001) Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Ireland as hosts for parasites of potential zoonotic and veterinary significance. Veterinary Record 149 (25), 759-763 PubMed.
  • Eckert J & Deplazes P (1999) Alveolar echinococcosis in humans: the current situation in Central Europe and the need for countermeasures. Parasitology Today 15 (8), 315-319 PubMed.
  • Stürchler D, Weiss N, Gassner M (1990) Transmission of toxocariasis. Journal of Infectious diseases 162 (2), 571 PubMed.
  • Jacobs D E, Pegg E F, Stevenson P (1977) Helminths of British dogs: Toxocara canis - a veterinary perspective. Journal of Small Aimal Practice 18 (2), 79-92 PubMed.
  • Jacobs D E & Prole J H B (1976) Helminth infections of British dogs: prevalence in racing greyhounds. Veterinary Parasitology (4), 377-387 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information