Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Does My Dog Have Worms? The Tell-Tale Signs of Intestinal Worms

Intestinal Worms

If you are reading this article, perhaps you are wondering if your dog has worms. In this article, I'll outline the tell-tale signs of four kinds of intestinal worms. Intestinal worms can include: Whipworm, Hookworm, Roundworm and Tapeworm.

How can I tell if my dog has Whipworm?
Dogs can be infected by Whipworm by eating infected poop or dirt (as Whipworm eggs can live in both). Whipworms are hard to detect; however they can cause recurring diarrhea (which may be bloody), weight loss, anemia and colitis (inflammation of the large intestine). The best way to determine whether your do is infected is to examine your dog's poop - eggs may appear irregularly so frequent examination is required.

How can I tell if my dog has Roundworm?
Roundworms can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs and puppies. Dogs may also look unhealthy and have a pot belly appearance. They may also pass whole roundworms in their poop. You may be able to see these worms in your dog's poop; they are approximately two to four inches (five to twelve and a half centimetres) long, spaghetti-like and white. Roundworm is not generally life threatening, however, they can cause discomfort.

How can I tell if my dog has Hookworm?
Hookworms can cause itchy feet, a rash on the dog's feet, coughing and wheezing, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and bloody or black poop. In advanced cases, hookworms can cause anemia and death. Puppies are particularly vulnerable and can die if infected. Hookworms are difficult to detect, therefore consult your veterinarian for regular testing.

How can I tell if my dog has Tapeworm?
Symptoms of Tapeworm can include abdominal discomfort, nervousness, itching around the anus, vomiting and weight loss. The itching may result in your dog 'scooting' its bum along the ground. Segments of tapeworm can be found in your dog's poop. The segments are small, wide and flat and look like grains of uncooked rice or sesame seeds.

The Treatment of Worms
If your dog is infected or has not being given a worming preventative, consult your vet. Treatment is very important, and any treatment of worms in dogs should be repeated over time to effectively kill all live and dormant larvae and eggs. Treatment usually involves de-wormer medication. Even if you find a de-wormer that does not require a prescription, you should still use it under your vet's supervision. This is because doses can vary depending on your dog's size and the severity of the infection. Your vet will be able to tell you what dosage is right for your dog.

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