A dog is an excellent, loyal, and energy-filled companion. Accepting them in your home means they are automatically a part of the family. Along with that is a promise that you will keep them safe and sound. However, it is not easy to completely shield them away from diseases and parasites.
When we bring them to play at the park, go around jogging with them, or do some outdoor adventures together, at one point in their life, they are going to pick up intestinal worms.
Let's define first what these pesky little monsters are.
Intestinal worms are parasites that infect a host, such as dogs and other animals, and take up residence in their intestines.
They can cause mild to debilitating diseases that leave your pooch extremely uncomfortable and weak. Sometimes, it can lead to death.
The 4 common types of intestinal worms are:1. Roundworms
Adult roundworms are long, white, and spaghetti-like. They are the easiest to spot because they are visible to the naked eye and can be seen in droppings.2. Hookworms
Hookworms have sharp, biting mouthparts that they use to attach themselves to the intestinal walls and start feeding on blood. If there is a severe hookworm infestation, it can be fatal due to the level of blood loss.3. Tapeworms
They live in small intestines and absorb as many nutrients. They are long (half a foot or more) and flat in appearance.
They generally do not cause significant signs of illness to your dog, but you may also see worm segments in their feces, and you can see your dogs scratching or licking their bottoms.4. Whipworm
They live in the large intestine. Whipworms may pose few problems and rarely cause symptoms in dogs who are otherwise healthy and active, yet they can cause serious problems when they start burrowing into the intestinal tissue.
How Dogs Get Infected?
Puppies can also get these worms from their mothers, especially through breastfeeding. If the puppies' mother is infected with intestinal worms, she can pass it on to them.
One of the most common ways to get it is through sniffing or ingesting. When your dog sniffs or digs contaminated grass or soil, it can ingest eggs and larvae. Hookworms in the soil can also burrow through your dog's skin.
Fleas can also bring intestinal worms. Therefore, keeping your dog free from flea infestation is important to reduce the risk of being infected with these pesky parasites. Use Advantage for Dogs to stop flea biting within 5 minutes and eliminate 98-100% of them within 20 minutes of the initial application. This product also inhibits the growth of flea larvae which helps in preventing future infestations.
Your dog may also get infected through hunting. In addition, when they bite or eat infected animals such as rodents or grazing animals, the risk of contracting the parasites is high.
Symptoms of Intestinal Worms in Dogs
Vomiting:Each worm type is known to cause vomiting. For example, dogs with whipworms may vomit a yellow-green-like substance. Dogs with roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms may vomit visible worms, and in most cases, you will be able to see worms from their vomits.
Low energy: One of the things to look for is your dog's energy. Even the slightest change from their usual energy and vigor can cause concern. Lethargic dogs may show worms symptoms, especially if the attackers are hookworms. Severe blood loss is life-threatening.
Change in appetite:This one is easy to spot. If your dog skipped a meal or two, your dog is going through intestinal or digestive discomfort. It can mean worms. Roundworms tend to make dogs lose their appetite. Visit your vet soon when you notice a change in their appetite.
Weight loss:Tapeworms and whipworms can cause rapid weight loss. This is due to their nature of feeding on the nutrients in your dog's stomach. However, keep in mind that weight loss can entail other diseases, which must be addressed very soon.
Other symptoms include:
- Dull coat
- Abdominal bloating
- Scooting on their bottom
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Bloody or mucoid feces
- Worm segments on droppings
Gladly, intestinal worms can be prevented and treated.
Simultaneously prevent and treat your dog from these unwanted parasites with HeartGard Plus. This delicious real beef-flavoured chewable can treat various worm infections such as heartworm, hookworms, and roundworms. It is also used as a total preventive measure. Administer only once a month (for the whole year) to keep your dog protected.