Imagining that our puppy could have parasites is very scary and unpleasant.
Just thinking that our furry friend has worms in its internal organs is usually a bit worrying, but despite this, intestinal worms are generally very common in these animals.
Most of the time, we do not realize that this is happening to our pet until some symptom indicates that it has parasites in its body.
It is vital to solve this problem as soon as possible since the dog can develop stomach aches and pains due to the worms, running the risk of having a more advanced disease thanks to these parasites. Even we are at risk of our health being affected.
How Did My Dog Get Worms?
It is possible to determine the cause of worms in canines depending on the type of parasite. There are 5 types of worms that commonly affect dogs, which are roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, and heartworms.
Most dogs that have roundworms or hookworms inherit them from their mothers since they can become carriers of these parasites, transmitting them from gestation to the birth of the puppy, migrating to the mammary glands, and passing them during lactation.
Other types of worms are usually acquired from how your dog interacts with its environment.
Sometimes dogs unconsciously eat contaminated feces or soil without realizing it, so by ingesting this type of fecal material, they are prone to intestinal worms such as hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
Usually, this type of contaminated material contains eggs or immature larvae that are passed by other infected animals into the environment.
Once the dog consumes the contaminated feces or soil, intestinal worms can develop when the larvae migrate through its body, inhabiting the organs, lungs, and liver. All this happens before they mature and reach the small intestine.
The dog can also be infected by fleas. Sometimes the puppy can ingest tapeworms by licking or chewing on its own fur. These enter the digestive tract, and the tapeworm larva adheres to the walls of the intestine.
Other times, fragments of tapeworms are expelled in the dog’s feces, being visible and looking like small pieces of rice.
One way to identify that your dog has been infected by fleas is to observe that it drags its rear on the ground. If this happens, it is better to take a sample of the feces to the veterinarian so that they can be analyzed and a more specific diagnosis can be made.
Mosquito bites also transmit parasites, and these usually reproduce in the dog’s heart. This is the most concerning type of worm, but it can also be the most preventable.
The presence of mosquitoes prevails almost everywhere, but with good fumigation, we can prevent the risk of the dog being bitten by an infected one.
Veterinarians prescribe regular preventatives against heartworms to reduce and prevent the reproduction of these parasites in this organ.
Symptoms of Dogs with Worms
Each parasite affects dogs differently. Keep in mind that there are some general warning signs that dog owners should be aware of. Intestinal worms can cause:
- Diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus)
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Vomiting (may sometimes expel mature worms)
- Dull and dry fur
- Nutrition deficiencies
- Intestinal obstruction
- Blood in the stool (either bright red or darker purple)
- Visible segments in stool that look like grains of rice
- Pale gums
- Dilation of the abdomen
Suppose the dog presents any of the symptoms mentioned above. In that case, we must take it immediately to the veterinarian so that he can prescribe the correct treatment for the type of parasite it has.
It is important that you keep in mind that the symptoms could vary depending on the type of worm that is infecting your pet’s body.
Although taking your dog to the vet will save you work, it is recommended that you investigate a little more about this to know how to identify the symptoms and act according to them.
Treatment of a Dog with Worms
Take Your Dog to the Vet
While it is true that there are several treatments, the first thing you should consider in case of any emergency is to take your dog to the vet regardless of the type of problem it is presenting. In this case, make an appointment with the vet if you suspect your pet may have worms.
It is essential that a professional check your dog since intestinal parasites can be dangerous when traveling to other organs of the body.
The situation can be further aggravated by affecting the lungs, heart, liver, brain, and eyes. If you allow these worms to spread to different parts of your canine’s body, it could be at high risk of dying.
Do Not Allow Your Infected Dog to Be with Others
If your dog has worms, it’s important to keep them away from other dogs to avoid spreading them. A canine infected with worms can easily infect another because these types of animals are always in physical contact with each other.
Therefore, prevent your dog from spending time with other dogs. Keep it in the house until the problem has been fixed. In case you have another pet at home, isolate your dog in a room, keeping it away from the other pet.
Collect Samples of Your Pet’s Stool
An effective way to test a dog for worms is to collect stool samples. The veterinarian usually requests fresh samples to examine them and determine two things:
- If your pet has worms
- The type of worms it has
Once the veterinarian knows what is happening to your dog, he will indicate the appropriate treatment to cure it and completely eliminate the worms.
Use Vet-Recommended Medications
Generally, the treatment consists of a series of antiparasitic medications the veterinarian prescribes after carrying out the relevant tests on your dog.
This professional could prescribe your pet an injectable or oral dewormer to kill any type of worm that is affecting it.