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Dog Worms
and how to cure them

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Dog worms and how to cure them

Every single dog in the world is susceptible to dog worms (internal parasites). From the eerily fatal Heartworm, carried by mosquitoes, to the relatively benign Roundworm, all dogs should undergo regular facal exams, and parasite prevention.

It important to know about the possible dog worms that can affect your pet because you can catch them too. As you interact with your dog, you are susceptible, as are any children in your home. 

The most common dog worms

The most common internal parasite, roundworms are especially prevalent in puppies. Puppies are often infested in utero, from a roundworm infested mother.

Heartworms, left untreated, will be fatal. These deadly dog worms are spread by mosquitoes, and take up residence inside the muscles of the heart. Prevention is very much recommended.

Whipworms are long, whip-shaped dog worms that take up residence in the dog's colon. Eggs are shed and diagnosis can be made three months later through a veterinarian fecal exam. Weight loss, anemia, and fresh blood in the stool are signs of a heavy infestation.

Hookworms are minuscule (12 to 15 mm) intestinal worms that hook onto the intestinal wall and consume copious amounts of blood. A hookworm infestation can kill a puppy before the eggs are ever discovered in a fecal exam. It is extremely important to test all dogs on a regular basis, as hookworms are not only very contagious to other pets, but also to humans.

The most common dog tapeworm is transmitted through fleas. The most common sign of infestation is discovering the egg sacks around the anus. Egg sacks look grains of rice, that may or may not be moving. Treatment is accomplished by a prescription from your veterinarian. Due to the nature of tapeworms, regular de-worming medication will not help.

Common signs of dog worms

Some of the common signs of worm infections are listed below, but these may also be symptoms of other illnesses. When ever your pet is acting ill, we always recommend an examination of your pet and an analysis of a fecal sample.

  • A change in your dog's appetite

  • A distended abdomen in puppies

  • Coughing of hiccupping resulting from the coughing up of worm larvae emerging from the lungs

  • Weight loss

  • Weakness

  • A dull coat

  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

  • Observing the worms-either round worm, which looks like spaghetti, or tapeworm segments that look like grains of rice in the stool or on the fur

  • Exercise intolerance, due to heartworm

Steps to prevent dog worms

Regular veterinary check-ups and fecal exams are an important part of responsible dog ownership, and the only way to ensure your best friend stays parasite free (and you too!).

Have your veterinarian screen your dog for worms twice a year - and more often if your dog is at high risk of a worm infection.

Examples of high risk dogs are those animals living in crowded urban areas, show pets, hunting dogs, and multiple pet households. Worm your dogs regularly.

Control fleas, which can carry certain tapeworms. These tapeworms can be transmitted to dogs or people who accidentally swallow an infected flea.

Prevent your dog from eating animal carcasses, such as rabbits and rodents, which may contain immature tape worms that will mature in your dog

Maintain good hygiene. For instance, whipworm and roundworm eggs dropped to the soil in your dog's feces can remain infectious for years, while hook worm larvae can accumulate in the earth of a dog run. All can reinfect your dog. Rapid removal of feces is important. Pave over your dog run. This is much safer than having a soil or gravel surface in which worms can survive.

Find out more...

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