Having a dog in your house can be the greatest thing for you, if you are a dog lover. Not only your house is safe because of the dog, but also he is there for you as your companion and your best friend. Although if he is performing his duties honestly for us, then it is our responsibility that we also take his care and protect him from getting any diseases. But it is not always possible. There may be times when we are not able to take his proper care, and he might catch some disease. Getting worms on their body is one of the most common phenomena that can happen, probably due to playing outside in the field, not taking bathe regularly or from something else. So, what to do in such case? How to tell if your dog has worms? What are the cures or treatments for this? Let’s look at all the answers one by one.
There are numerous worms that can infect your dog. The symptoms a dog can show when he has worms on his body can vary from worm to worm. So, before looking for the symptoms, let’s look at the worms that are likely to affect your dog’s body.
Worms That May Affect Your Dog
The different types of worms by which your dog can be affected may be:
Roundworms can cause a serious kind of problem in puppies and dogs. Roundworm causes diarrhea and also eat the food of the host. They are even more deadly in puppies. It is important that you choose the right deworming product for the pet so that he/she will be free from the problem. Some of the signs are:
• Dull Coat
• Belly Pain
• Roundworms in poop
• Weight loss
Do take your dog to a veterinarian doctor if you feel or see any of the above mentioned symptoms.
Hookworms suck the blood of from the dog and are mainly found in the intestine. If you have puppies, they can transmit worms from their mother. Adult dogs can get the infection by the cleaning themselves. There are several negative causes, for example, malnutrition and weakness in the dogs. If get infected by hookworms, your dog can even die. To get rid of these worms, it is mandatory that you use at least two rounds of deworming medication. But in case of puppies, the method is different. Therefore, it is advisable that you consult with your vet before giving any treatment to your dog. Humans can also get an infection by the hookworms that are present in dirty vegetables or even if they walk barefoot on the sand or soil.
Heartworms in dogs are spread by biting of the mosquitoes. The main area where these worms reside is the arteries. The length of heartworms is approximately 14 inches. It can affect the function of your dog’s heart and even can cause death if not treated on time and with proper procedure. You have the option to take monthly preventives for the heartworm, and it will be extremely effective. Some of the symptoms that will show that your dog has heartworms can be coughing, trouble in breathing, and some other common signs. For effective treatment, you will have to give your dog approximately two to three injections of the arsenic-based drugs. There should be a time gap of at least a month between the injections.
Whipworms reside where large and small intestines meet. These worms can suck the blood of from the host. Dogs can pick whipworms while playing in the contaminated soil. Whipworms do not cause any serious problem until they enter in the intestines in a large number. You can effectively eliminate whipworms with the help of an oral dewormer.
Tapeworms may enter in your dogs’ body by licking themselves or by swallowing fleas. They are in the size of small segments, and each segment is equal to the size of a rice grain. You may sometimes find them around your dog’s anus. To kill the worms, you can go for a tablet or injection. A human can also be affected from tapeworms but not from the dogs.
Ringworm, as the name suggest, is not a worm. It is a kind of infection on the skin that is caused by fungus. Ringworm is a gray, dry and scaly patch on the skin. In human beings, it will be found in the form of a round, red lesion ring like structure. Dogs get infected with the ringworms as soon as they get in contact with the spores of the fungus. These spores will be present in cats or the soil. Human beings can also get infected with this by touching an infected pet. There are lots of shampoos, medicated dips and ointments present in the market for the treatment of the ringworms. It is recommended to consult with your vet.
How To Know It’s Worm Infection?
The majority of the symptoms in dogs of worm infections are common and non-specific. Hence, it is almost impossible to diagnose what kind of worms your dog is carrying based on the symptoms only. Although, if your dog has not been wormed from a long time, then you can see suspicious signs of worm infections in your dog. It may allow you to trigger an investigation to find out what parasite is in his body.
Sometimes you may get the visual evidence of worms in your dog’s feces, even if your dog is an asymptomatic one. If you have any doubt on yourself or you are weak in worm recognition, then collect the worm in an air-tight container and get it identified by a veterinary doctor in a vet clinic. As collecting the worms and showing it directly to the doctor, rather than describing it, is a better way to get it checked because most of the worms look similar physically to the naked eyes.
You should also look for gastrointestinal signs. However, the life cycle of every worm varies but, all the worms at some time will travel through the gut of your dog. If the numbers of worms are low, then your dog may not show any sign of them. But if they are present in a larger number, they can colonize the bowel and can cause irritation in the lining that can result in numerous symptoms. Some these symptoms may be diarrhea, poor appetite, weight loss, or sickness.
As we already know that, the worms either transit through or live inside the gut. Hence, at a certain stage in worm’s life cycle they can be passed out through dog’s feces, giving you the physical appearance of the worms. If your dog is highly affected by the worms, you can see the actual worms in the feces, but it is not the case if the infection is not too high. In the case of mild infection, you can only have a look of either eggs or larvae, which is almost impossible to spot from naked eyes. To check for the worms from feces, follow these steps:
• With the help of a Popsicle stick, scoop a sample of feces. You can also go for a disposable spoon for the collection. After collecting it, keep it in a clean, air-tight container. You can get these containers either from a medical store or directly from your vet.
• Make sure that you store the sample below 30 degrees Celsius and take it to the vet clinic as soon as you can.
• There may be times when your vet will ask for the pooled samples. In this case, you will have to take your dog’s stool once in a day for three days in a row. Every time you take the stool with you, do not forget to keep it in the same collection container. This is done to cross check that the vet is getting the same results every day, and there is no “false negative” result. The pooled samples are taken to reduce the risk of getting unreliable results.
• The vet will do a detailed analysis of your dog’s feces by examining the smear of feces and placing it under a microscope to check for larvae or worm eggs. If required, he can also send the sample to an outside lab for further assessment.
Most of the worms can be identified through the feces’ test, but there are sometimes when your dog is going through a serious illness. The reason of the serious illness of your dog can be lungworm or heartworm. These worms can only be diagnosed through a blood test. The procedure involves the taking out of around 1-2 ml of blood from your dog’s body as a test sample. After taking out the blood, there are various tests that are done to get the desired result. Out of all, the test that is most common is an ELISA test. This test checks for the presence of antibodies to heartworm and if found positive, it changes its color. If you are residing in high-risk areas for heart worm, then you may have to go for a yearly test and that will the part of your dog’s physical checkup. This checkup will be before the renewal or prescription of a monthly preventative treatment.
You will have to remain highly cautious when your dog is going through the worm infection, as some worms such as roundworms can easily be transferred to you from your dog. If you have a young child in your home, then it is highly advisable that you keep him away from your dog. Because if your little one comes in contact with the roundworm, he can experience severe damage to his eyesight.
After discussing the types of the worms, it is time to talk about the symptoms by which you will get to know that your pet is not well and dealing with this kind of problem.
Dogs puke the worms. If your dog has roundworms, they will be visible in the puke of the dog.
Because of the heartworms, your dog can cough badly. Not only because of heartworms, even roundworms and hookworms can also develop coughing in your dogs.
If your dog has reduced energy levels and has become a lazy pup, then there are fair chances that your dog is suffering from worms.
It is one of the most common symptoms in the dogs when they have worms in their body. In most of the cases, if your dog is dealing with hookworms, you may get a chance to see blood in his stools.
Change In Appetite:
If his eating schedule has been changed, then this is the sign that he has roundworms in his body. Getting affected from the worms may reduce their appetite.
If you notice that your pet has bloated in no time, then he/she may be suffering from the problem of worms. You will find this kind of case more in puppies as they get their worms from the mother.
A pot belly in your dog is also a major sign that he has worms in his body. Mostly, puppies are the one who show these signs and especially when they have transmitted the worms from their mother.
This is the most common problem in the dogs when they are suffering from worms in their body. If not treated on time, skin issues can cause serious problems in your dog.
It is always advisable that you take your dog to the vet on time and do not delay in his treatment. Apart from this, make a strict schedule and visit your vet every month so that the regular check up of your dog can be done. Doing so will keep your dog healthy always.
There are treatments available for every type of worms. There may be times when it may be difficult for you to give medicine to your dog, but it is your responsibility to keep them healthy, hence try to give proper medications to your dog always. Because killing the worms is your primary goal, and you cannot give any trouble to your dog.
Now you are well aware of the signs and symptoms that will tell you that whether your dog has worms or not. Do not delay, if you feel that any of the above mentioned symptoms are present in your dog, take him to the vet as soon as possible.