Worms in Dogs

One of the most common problems that can occur in a dog is worms. Unfortunately, there are a variety of worms that can infect your canine friend. Worms are parasites that feed off on dogs. The most common are hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms and heartworms. The former two are most commonly seen in puppies while the latter two are more common in older dogs. When a dog is plagued by worms, it can lead to a decline in their health and if left untreated, can eventually lead to death.

How Do Dogs Catch Worms

Dogs usually get worms through the faeces of other dogs. They will most often sniff faeces or get it on their paws while out on walks. Then, later, your dog may lick its nose or paws, which leads to him or her contracting worms and becoming infected. Heartworm, however, is an exception as it is transmitted by mosquitos that carry the parasite. If a dog is affected by heartworm, the worm is essentially living within the heart. This is a very serious disease that can be deadly if it isn’t treated early or prevented altogether.

What Symptoms Will My Dog Have

It can be difficult to tell if your dog has worms in some instances. When a dog is infected with heartworm, symptoms may not be present. Tapeworms can affect dogs just as they can affect humans. A dog can get them by swallowing a flea that has been infected. It results in rather nasty side effects as the tapeworm continuously grows inside your dog and parts of it will break off when your pet relieves itself. You can determine if your dog has this worm by noticing it during walks and in its feces as the pieces of the tapeworm will appear like dried rice grains within.

Roundworm is transmitted to dogs when they eat food or other items that have been contaminated. They invade the animal’s lungs and blood and are usually coughed up and then swallowed again. The dog may overeat and then stop eating, may have bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.

Hookworm is another parasite that attacks the intestines in a dog. It can cause symptoms such as anemia and sometimes even death in both puppies and adult dogs and can even affect humans.

If you suspect your canine companion is stricken with any type of worm, taking him or her to the vet is mandatory. You can also prevent a problem of certain worms, such as heartworm, by having the vet do a full examination and preventative treatment on your pet. Generally, any dog owner should bring their pet to the vet on a regular annual basis. Whenever you get a new dog, you should bring them in for an exam immediately and ensure he or she gets all necessary shots.

One of the best ways to ensure the best health of your dog is to closely monitor him or her whenever you are out. While you cannot prevent all problems, keeping a watchful eye on your canine pals will limit the risks that they will contract worms.

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