While the idea of worms might not evoke enthusiasm unless you're an avid parasitologist or perhaps possess avian characteristics, the concept becomes decidedly less charming and even worrisome when considering your canine companion could be infested with these parasites. Hence, it is crucial to understand how dogs contract worms, recognize the signs that indicate their presence, and know how to prevent such infestations.
How Do Dogs Get Intestinal Worms?
Roundworms: Puppies may become infected even before birth as these parasites can traverse through the mother's placenta. Post-birth, the infection can persist through the mother's milk. As early as their 11th day of life, puppies can begin to excrete mature worm eggs in their feces while hosting a large number of these parasites within their intestinal tract. The youngest puppies are the most susceptible to infection. If left unaddressed, this could lead to severe health complications, such as blockages in the intestine.
Typically, grown dogs contract roundworms when they consume soil or prey animals (such as mice or other tiny mammals) that have been contaminated with roundworm larvae.
Hookworms: several routes can lead to infection in dogs. Puppies may contract these worms from their mother's milk, or the larvae might breach a dog's skin. Furthermore, dogs can swallow larvae while grooming or when sniffing feces or soil that's been infected.
Whipworms: dogs typically become infected by consuming the eggs present in dirt or other substances that may have been polluted by canine feces.
Tapeworms: simply ingesting a fertilized egg doesn't cause infection in dogs. Instead, they must ingest an intermediate host, such as a flea or a mouse. As the dog consumes the infected flea, the digestive process dismantles the flea, leading to the liberation of tapeworm eggs. Following the hatching of the egg, it clings to the intestinal wall to progress through its lifecycle.
Signs of Worms in Dogs
Roundworms: indications in puppies may consist of a bloated belly and digestive complications like frequent vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive flatulence. If the infestation of worms is substantial, it could potentially lead to a blockage in the intestines.
When it comes to roundworms, indications in puppies may consist of a bloated belly and digestive complications like frequent vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive flatulence. If the infestation of worms is substantial, it could potentially lead to a blockage in the intestines.
Hookworms: the predominant symptom is a disturbance in the digestive system. Additional signs can include pale gums owing to blood loss, weight reduction, bloody diarrhea, generalized fatigue, a lackluster coat, coughing, and skin complications. In the case of puppies, infection can hinder their proper growth and development. Severe infections can be fatal in young puppies due to excessive blood loss.
Whipworms: these can trigger severe sickness, particularly in young and elderly dogs. Indications include long-term watery diarrhea, bloody stools, dehydration, weight reduction, and overall weakness.
Tapeworms: dogs usually don't fall sick but may experience weight loss. You might observe the worm segments in their feces or stuck to the fur near their rectal area. Symptoms can include dragging their bottoms on the ground or flooring, incessantly licking or biting the anal region, and in the case of a heavy infestation, significant weight loss can occur.