What Types of Worms in Dogs Do You Have?
What types of worms in dogs do you have? Can you recognize the dog worms your dog can get by symptoms alone; can you look at worms in vomit or feces and name the worm? Do you know how sick your dog can get by worm infestations? Even worse … do you know how serious the damage is inside your dog if your dog has never been wormed? Controlling worms in your dog requires hands-on and head-on knowledge with lots of dog experience. Unfortunately, not everyone can.
When you bring your dog or puppy home, look for the best vet of choice for quality care. Make sure the vet is affordable and easy on the pocket book. A lot of dog owners do not go to the vet because they cannot afford the shots, tests, x-rays, simple appointments, emergency trips or after hour accidents.
Learn about dog worms and dog health as soon as possible. Take classes online, read dog books, attend health classes, go to school, go to workshops, talk to your vet and borrow some videos, and so on. Better yet, order our ebook Dog Worms and keep it on hand for emergencies, maybe saving a few bucks by doing things on your own. Learn what OTC dewormers are good and how bad things can get before deciding to take your dog to the vet.
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Most dogs can get worms at one time or another, and not all worms are bad. But how the dog gets infected depends on the type of worms the dog gets. So, ask yourself “What types of worms in dogs do you have?”
Tapeworms – the most common type of dog worms
Dog tapeworms are best described as flat intestinal worms, made of several small segments that are approximately 1/4″ to 1/2″ long. The head attaches to the small intestinal wall with hooks and suckers. To cure tapeworm infection, the head of the tapeworm needs to be destroyed. Otherwise, the tapeworm will continue to grow.
The body of the tapeworm is made of segments [i.e. able to be divided in uniform pieces]. Inside each of these body segments are eggs. When the moist segment is passed in the feces, it is capable of moving about. About 1/4″ long, it crawls around the dog’s anus. Once it dries out, it is best described as kernels of rice. Some, not all, dogs feel itching in the area from the moving segments.
Know how to recognize when your dog has tapeworms. Tapeworms look like little rice segments crawling around the rectum. Do you know if they are contagious to your children or yourself? What wormer can you use OTC, or should you rush your dog to the vet immediately? Learning when and how to treat your dog for worm prevention, such as tapeworms, is a mandatory situation when you have a dog…especially an outdoor dog.
Knowing how to tell what kind of worms your dog has and then to provide accurate de-worming will keep your dog pretty happy and healthy … along with yourself. There are all types of deworming programs for dogs and cats, through your vet, over-the-counter products and natural care. Pet stores like Petco or Petsmart provide certains days and hours where veterinarians provide vet care for low fees. Routine worming prevents serious and not-so-serious worm infestations.
The most common worm that dogs can get is the tapeworm. Dogs become infected with tapeworm parasites through infected fleas, the major source of tapeworms. And there you have it …
- Rodents can carry infected fleas.
- Hanging around other dogs who have tapeworms is very contagious.
- A lot of parasites can begin by eating bad food.
- Homes that have flea infestations, sometimes have infected fleas for tapeworms.
The truth is, the only time parasites or dog worms become a serious problem for dogs is when the dog’s immunity system gets too low. This prevents the dog from controlling the worms on its own, allowing dog worms to massively increase in numbers. If the dog is healthy, well-rested, and well-fed, its healthy immune system is designed to keep the parasites or worms at bay on their own … or by using quality worms.
Roundworms- the most common type of dog worms
As a rule, adult dogs tend to run toward tapeworms and roundworms. Roundworms go hand-in-hand with adult dogs, pregnant mothers, and nursing puppies. Maintain an effective worm control program with your vet. If you have a puppy or kitten, begin around four weeks of age with the mother being wormed before whelping her puppies. Feed her dry puppy food for extra nourishment
General symptoms of worm infestations are as follows:
- Anemia has white gums, if left untreated
- Appetite with a huge and continuous hunger, yet severe weight loss
- Coughing, mild to severe
- Worm irritation in lungs and esophagus
- Diarrhea or loose stools
- Disturbances of the gastrointestinal tract
- Scratching and digging, particularly around the base of the tail
- Temperatures that cause the pup to feel warm
- Vomiting and vomiting up roundworms from the pup’s esophagus
No matter what type of worms your dog has, they all show symptoms of some type or another. It is up to you to know what those symptoms are in regard to what dog worm, instead of waiting to go to the vet for a physical and “accidentally” finding it out after a lot of damage has already occurred inside your dog. As dog worms begin to develop into worm infestations, the various organs inside your dog’s body will become compromised an adult dog can develop the following symptoms. Symptoms between adult dogs and puppies are similar in some areas, yet not in others:
- Apathy and sluggishness, almost appearing lazy.
- Their coat will look rather “bedraggled” and rough in spots.
- Most dogs will begin to drink lots of water…more than usual in all types of weather.
- They will lose weight everywhere but in their belly, which will appear bloated due to the growing amount of worms.
- Thin as they will become, they will have no appetite.
- After awhile, they will develop a persistent cough.
- Many worms will travel into the stomach/esophagus area, causing vomiting).
- Diarrhea with bloody or mucous in their stools with occasional signs of the worms themselves.
The time the owner first notices the symptoms of dog worms until the first treatment begins can make a lot of difference in the health of the dog. If left untreated too long, worm-affected dogs will become seriously ill and end up dying. Knowing how to tell what type of worms your dog has involves knowing what the symptoms of each worms are.
Specific symptoms for types of worms in dogs
If a dog has flatworms known as “tapeworms“, they will be easy to recognize by eyesight and are the least harmful to the dog. They look like small rice-like white segments seen around the dog’s rectal area or they can be found in the dog’s stools.
Transferred to dogs by infected fleas, these broken off tapeworm segment will also be in the dog’s bedding, their favorite chair, and on the floor. The dog dewormer for tapeworms is available at the vets or over-the-counter at pet and feed stores– dog deworming naturally or with traditional medicine.
- It is possible for no symptoms or very mild symptoms to be displayed in the affected dog
- A certain degree of digestive symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas, or abdominal pain)
- Scooting across the floor while whining, due to itching and being uncomfortable
- Restlessness with some abdominal pain
- Hunger with weight loss
- Tapeworms in the stools or around rectum or anus
Specific Symptoms of Roundworms
The roundworm has a long sticky spaghetti-look to it and can be found in the dog’s vomit or stools, considered the most frequent worm found in both dogs and cats. Dogs are affected by two species of the roundworm–(1) toxocara canis and (2) toxascaris leonina. Of these species, both adult roundworms live in a dog’s stomach and intestines, able to grow to seven inches in length. The female roundworm may lay up to 200,000 eggs daily, able to live in the soil for years.
- One of the symptoms in dogs over six months of age is they will have no symptoms.
- Older dogs develop an acquired resistance to roundworms, yet carry the eggs in a dormant form.
- Puppies eight weeks or older produce mild vomiting or diarrhea due to roundworm infestation. The worms will be visible in the stools and in the vomit.
- Puppies under eight weeks of age and heavily infested with roundworms will fail to thrive. They will have a potbelly, dull coat, anemic (white gums), stunted in growth, vomiting, diarrhea and eventually die.
- Normally, all puppies at birth should be wormed routinely every two, four, six, and eight weeks of age with the mother. The mother should be wormed before and when she is bred, with routine roundworm treatments up until she whelps the puppies.
Want to know more about dog worms? Read Dog Poop – The Ins and The Outs.