Worms in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

It might probably be weird to imagine having worms in dogs, but this is pretty normal- in fact, your dog or puppy has had them at some time in their lives.

Many puppies get worms into their bodies after sucking their mother’s milk, while other worms in dogs are gotten from their environment or through fleas.

You don’t have to worry if there are worms in your dogs. Your vet can handle the treatment and if properly handled, your dog’s health should be completely intact.

Types of worms in dogs

There are several types of worms that could affect your pets, but some are even more noticeable than others. Their symptoms are also different, and is advisable to watch for anything unusual, – particularly in your pet’s fecal matter.

Here is a list of some common worms in dogs, how they may look like, and how they may be contracted;

Roundworms

  • Young dogs can be infected with roundworms (Toxocara spp and Toxascaris spp) directly from their mother’s milk.
  • Your pet can also get worms from eating contaminated soil or rodents.
  • Roundworms can be seen in a spaghetti-like shape when they poop or when it’s a serious infestation, in their vomit.

Tapeworms

  • When a dog is exposed to fleas or carcasses of sheep, rodents, or rabbits that are infected with tapeworms, it becomes infected also.
  • Parts of tapeworm in dogs can be seen in their faeces or hanging loosely from your bottom.
  • They have a rice-like shape.

Hookworms and Whipworms

  • Hookworms and whipworms aren’t so common in the United Kingdom but are very aggressive abroad.
  • Dogs can be infected by their mother’s breast milk or through their environment.

Lungworms

  • Lungworms can be contracted when they eat snails and slugs.
  • Lungworms, also known as “Angiostongylus vasorum” lives directly in the blood vessels and affects the lungs.

Heart-worms

  • Also known as Dirofilaria immitis, isn’t common in the UK, but your dog can be affected if they are exposed to it in regions that are affected.
  • Dogs get infected when bitten by mosquitoes.
  • Preventive measures are imperative if you are planning a trip with your dog.

Symptoms of worms in dogs

Spotting worms in your dogs isn’t always easy. So don’t feel bad if you don’t notice it quickly. Your vet should be able to better educate you on the type of worms in your dog, if any.

Don’t try to formulate any home made treatment no matter how strange your dog is reacting. Instead, take it to a vet immediately.

In the meantime, here are some worms in dog symptoms you should watch out for:

  • Physical weakness and depression
  • Unusual swelling in the stomach
  • Stooling and vomiting
  • Worms present in your dog’s vomit, faeces, or hanging from their bottom
  • Weight loss
  • Lungworms can even cause coughing and bleeding in your dog.

Prevention and treatment of worms in dogs

Getting your puppy from a reputable breeder should guarantee them worm-free. The dog breeder or rescue center must have wormed your dog before releasing it to you.

You should safely keep the documents that has the details of worming treatment administered to your dog, so your vet knows how to help you keep track of your dog’s treatment. It is also useful in monitoring symptoms so as to better minimize risk of suffering by worms infection.

Just as puppies need attention, so do adult dogs. Adult dogs should also be wormed, because they also might get worms in their system while digging and dogging around.

You could plan a working routine for you dog so you know when to get them treated, hence reducing the risks of worms in your dog.

Worms in dogs and humans

Worms in dogs can be transmitted to other dogs through their faeces, or even into the human body. This is why it is imperative to properly dispose off your dog’s stool so as to minimize the risk of exposure. This helps to protect the risk of not only other dogs contracting the worms, but you as well.

Even though it might be difficult for your dog to resist the temptation not to eat snails and slugs, you should try not to let them have access to it.

It is uncommon to find humans affected by worms in dogs, but not impossible. So it is best that proper hygiene is constantly implemented. You and anyone who has access to your dog should ensure your hands are properly washed after playtime with your fur buddy.

As long as you detect the worms in your dogs on time, you have nothing to worry about. You can immediately get rid of the infection and administer the proper treatment to ensure the prolong happiness of your dog.

Have you had to deal with worms in your dogs? How was the experience like for you? What treatment methods did you use?

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