The link between worms and fleas

Friday, 7th June 2013

The link between worms and fleas

A lot of pet owners do not realise the link between fleas and worms but it is actually the flea that is the cause of most common tapeworm in both cats and dogs.

While farm and country dogs may have a potential increased risk of exposure to animal carcasses making the need for them to be treated more frequently for tapeworm with either Drontal for dogs or our own Easimax dog wormer no pet can be truly isolated. This means that even cats that are kept indoors can be infected with tapeworm from fleas.

How it happens

Fleas are not just a nuisance from biting but they are also a carrier of disease. When your dog or cat grooms themselves they can swallow fleas which are intermediate hosts of tapeworm. This means that for part of the tapeworm life cycle they live in the flea and when your cat or dog is grooming they can be swallowing fleas and infecting themselves with tapeworm.

Dogs are sociable animals and fleas can be passed from animal to animal or even via the environment and we would recommend that Frontline for dogs or another suitable flea treatment for dogs be used.

We know that cats like to keep themselves clean but this works against them when it comes to tapeworm. Bayer the makers of Drontal for cats, an effective tapeworm control, have estimated that cats can swallow up to half of all fleas on their coat while they are grooming. This number can be reduced by using products such as Frontline for cats or another suitable flea treatment for cats.

What will tapeworm do to my cat or dog?

While some cats and dogs can ‘shuffle’ along the ground as they can have irritation around their bottom caused by tapeworm segments you cannot easily tell if your pet has tapeworm as a lot of cats and dogs show no signs. But this nasty parasite can cause sickness and diarrhoea so tapeworm treatment with a suitable dog wormer or cat wormer is essential.