What to do if your dog has worms?
Worms are common in dogs, especially in puppies. Fortunately, worm infestation is simple to eliminate. Parasites, both internal and external are the dreaded concerns of dog owners. Dogs are well cared for pets but parasite infestation can not be totally avoided because of the dog’s natural behaviors. Dogs are scavengers. These animals, even the well fed ones have an unaccountable desire to raid trash cans to eat spoiled food. Dogs eat non-edible things as well. We know that worms can be transmitted through the feces. This means that when your dog has taken a bite of another dog’s poop, it is highly probable that it will gain free loaders in its stomach.
- What to do if your dog has worms?
Since many worms that infect dogs can also infect humans, it is important to take care of worms in the environment before they ever get to you or your dog.
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The internal parasites
Hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, whipworm and heartworm are the internal parasites that can endanger the health of the pet. As the name suggests, heartworm infests the heart. Left untreated this type of worm will destroy the tissues of the heart causing the death of the dog. Heartworm infestation is fatal given that the signs can only be seen when the dog is already severely infected. The other four types of worms infest the intestines of the dog. The infestation causes the dog to have a pot bellied appearance. The worms would suck blood from the intestinal walls causing internal bleeding and anemia. Hookworms and roundworms are zoonotic, meaning they can be transferred to humans.
Symptoms of worm infestation
Some worms can be seen by the naked eye, some can not. When you see your dog passing stool “decorated” with worms or with white grain-like “somethings” it is for certain, your dog has internal parasites. As mentioned, some types of worms can not be seen by the naked eye. To be on the safe side it would be best to submit the dog for some blood test and for fecal examination. A dog that is infested with worm would have a scruffy and a pot bellied appearance. But the most noticeable signs would be vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss due to poor appetite and low energy.
Treating the dog’s worm infestation
Once the infestation is detected, it would be best to take the dog to a veterinary facility at once. Of course you can purchase over the counter wormers but incorrect dosage can have dangerous effects on the pet instead of eradicating the parasite. Take note that the dosage would depend on the body weight of the dog as well as on the severity of infestation. The vet would give the appropriate wormer for the type of parasite that infests the pet. In severe cases the dog may need IV fluids and blood transfusions.
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