How to Tell What Types of Worms Your Dog Has
How to tell what types of worms your dog has is difficult at best, requiring some hands-on knowledge and lots of dog experience. Even better, a close relationship with the family vet is much needed. What most people are not aware of is that worms in dogs are not always bad, if you know how to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
It is a known fact that parasite eggs and worms in dog poop are quite common. But it is important to know how to tell what types of dog worms your dog has at any given time is part of maintaining their good health. Learning when and how to treat your dog for worm prevention is pretty much mandatory.
Deworming programs for types of worm in dogs
Knowing how to tell what types of worms your dog is providing a home to will keep your dog happy and healthy. Routine deworming programs help prevention worm infestations by staying in contact with your vet or staying aware of what is going on with your dog.
One example is tapeworms. At one time or another, dogs can become infected with massive infestations of parasites through infected fleas, the source of tapeworms. But parasites can also begin with eating bad food, or coming into contact with an infected animal which may require some powerful dog wormers.
The truth is, the only time parasites or worms in dogs can become dangerous and deadly is when the dog develops a low immunity system. This prevents the dog from controlling them 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.
Types of worms in dogs and young puppies
Roundworms and young puppies go hand in hand, while adult dogs tend to run toward tapeworms, heart worms, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms. Those listed are the most common worms known to affect dogs. Puppies are born with roundworms, and if left untreated, will die. General symptoms of worm infestations in puppies are as follows:
- Anemia with white gums, if left untreated
- Appetite this large and continuous hunger, but severe weight loss
- Coughing, mild to severe, from worm irritation in lungs and esophagus
- Diarrhea or loose stools
- Disturbances of the gastrointestinal tract
- Scratching, 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
~ Specific symptoms of tapeworms
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.
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