Worms in Dogs: Protect the Whole Family

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Worms in dogs are a common problem in the UK. They can lead to ill health and distress in our pets and can re-infest them at any time. All over the world there are many types of worms in dogs and in the UK we are fortunate enough to have to deal primarily with only two. These are the tapeworm and the roundworm.

Roundworms cause difficulties when they are passed from one dog to another and more so when most puppies are born with an infestation. This type of worm resembles short lengths of spaghetti. Mature worms live in the dog’s intestines and feed on the contents. This results in your dog’s dinner being shared as worms feed on its partially digested food. Depending on the severity of the infestation, dozens of worms could be present at any one time. Of course, it follows that a dogs which is being forced to share its food with large numbers of parasites will become malnourished. Severe infestations can lead to loss of energy and a dull coat. The dog may also suffer with diarrhoea and vomiting. In puppies, roundworms can cause delays in growth and distended abdomens. If a puppy with roundworm is left without treatment he or she could die from intestinal blockage. It is of course important to note that many infestations of worms in dogs are symptomless. Regular worming treatment should still be used.

In adult dogs, the larvae of the worms move around the body until they settle in cysts in the muscles. Even worming treatment cannot eliminate the larvae when it has formed a cyst in a muscle. The larvae can remain inactive in the dog’s body until they reawaken during a time of stress. They will normally reactivate when the dog is pregnant and migrate to the womb to infest the puppies. This is why it is important to worm all puppies.

Worms in dogs are a problem that can actually affect humans as well. Children are particularly vulnerable because they are more likely to come into contact with worm eggs in contaminated soil or sand whilst playing. The worm larvae can migrate though the human body and can lead to permanent damage to the eye sight if they settle at the back of the retina. Regular treatment for worms in dogs is therefore vital to protect the health of the entire family.

Look Out For Worms in Dogs

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Worms in dogs and the potential health risk they pose not only to the pets but to people as well should always be at the forefront of responsible dog owners’ minds. Worms in dogs can cause ill health in both canines and humans: they are internal parasites.

Although worms in dogs can be damaging, there are often no outward signs of ill health until the worms are already damaging the dog’s health. Although worms in dogs are hard to spot, the symptoms to look out for are general loss of condition, sickness and diarrhoea. The two types of worms in dogs are roundworms and tapeworms.

Roundworms

Roundworms can appear to be coiled in the shape of a spring, can grow to around 10cm in length and are pale white or beige coloured. They might be visible in your pet’s faeces or vomit. Dogs become infected with roundworms when they ingest their larvae, permitting the adult worms to develop inside the dog’s body. Later, new eggs are passed through the dog in his faeces, restarting the chain again. Unfortunately, the most common type of roundworm is dogs is Toxocara Canis and it can have devastating effects on human children. If children eggs through contact with, for example, contaminated soil, the resulting larvae can move through their bodies. The larvae can potentially damage children’s eyesight if they reach the eyes. This is one of the main reasons why dog owners should always pick up after their pet.

Tapeworms

You may be able to see evidence of tapeworms in your dog’s faeces or around his anus: they look like flat segments filled with what look like moving grains of rice but are actually eggs. Fleas carry tapeworm larvae so dogs become infected when they swallow fleas whilst grooming. An adult worm inside the dog can be as long as 5 metres.

In keeping with the general rule of thumb for any health problem, prevention is better than cure for worms in dogs. Therefore worming your dog every three months is important. Puppies should be wormed even more regularly than that. Effective worming medication can be bought at either a pet shop or a veterinary surgery, but you should ask your vet to suggest the most appropriate one.

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robbie on April 9th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Worms In Dogs: Where Will I Find Them?

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Worms in dogs can be a persistent nuisance, as well as a bit of a gruesome subject. Despite this, it is still important you know where to look for worms in dogs. With a clear understanding of where to look for worms, you can minimise the risk of them doing your dog harm.

The Places To Look

Worms in dogs can be looked for in two places. Even if your dog is up-to-date with their de-worming, you should still look for worms regularly. The colouring, shape and colouring of worms varies depending on their type. They generally tend to be a white-tan colour. Ringworms are the largest worms round, growing up to seven inches in length.

Vomit

Worms can be passed up in a dog’s vomit if it is a particularly severe infestation. When ringworms develop into ‘third stage larvae’, they migrate towards the host’s lungs. Their presence in the lungs will generate coughing in the dog. When they’re coughed into the host’s throat they re-enter the dog’s intestine where there is a chance they will be vomited.

Whenever your dog vomits, be sure to give it the once over for worms. If you do find worms, take your dog to a vet immediately.

Faeces

Worms can also be found in a dog’s faeces. Have your dog’s faeces checked for worms every couple of months, as well as checking it yourself.

If you notice quarter to half-inch sized broken segments around your dog’s rectum or in their faeces then it is likely your dog has been infected with tapeworms. When they’re alive, tapeworms appear to expand and contract. They will look like uncooked rice when they die.

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robbie on March 24th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

The Effect Worms In Dogs Can Have On The Animal’s Mood

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The constant reoccurrence of worms in dogs can be a nuisance for mutt owners. You can never completely eradicate the chances of having worms in dogs. It is imperative a dog owner keeps a careful eye on their pet for the symptoms of a worm infestation.

The primary worry for dog owners is how a worm infestation will affect the pet’s mood. No one likes to see their dog upset or down in the dumps, especially when they are suffering through illness.

Gauging the mood of a dog is easy once you’ve had them around for a few weeks. A dog can be happy and sad, just like a human being. Acquire a dog and within weeks you will be able to tell what sort of mood they are in. 

Worms in dogs will have a detrimental effect on the pet’s mood. If they are infested, they will be more aggressive than usual. They might be reluctant to run or generally quite lethargic. By keeping a careful eye on the mood of your mutt, you can decipher whether or not it is a case of worms in dogs.

Taking the right measures can mean that worms in dogs will never be too serious of a problem. Combating worms in dogs is easy if you maintain a rigorous dog health care system. If you couple this with an annual trip to the vet’s then you can really take your mind off the issue of worms in dogs.

Dog’s who have health conscious owners are always the happiest. When it comes to dogs, healthiness is next to happiness. Worms in dogs will be troublesome if you neglect your dog’s health care. You need to take on the responsibility yourself. 

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robbie on February 26th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips