Worms In Dogs

Worms In Dogs

As a dog owner, you need to understand the different health risks to keep your pet safe. Every dog breed has specific health conditions that owners need to be aware of. But there are also common risks that can affect all pets, such as worms in dogs. Worming should be part of routine health maintenance for every dog. Indeed, parasites in dogs can dramatically affect your puppy immune system. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to detect puppy worms and treat symptoms of worms in dogs.

Here is a brief overview of what every dog owner needs to understand the risks of worms in dogs and how to prevent them.

What are the signs of worms in dogs?

Worms in dogs can be an unpleasant thought, especially because it’s in the nature of worms to crawl in hidden sight, making them hard to spot at first. However, there are some tell-tale symptoms of worms in dogs that can highlight issues.

A dog or a puppy with worms is likely to exhibit the following signs:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Abdominal pain for intestinal worms
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting are also signs of worms in dogs digestive tracts
  • Intestinal blockage can occur
  • Blood in stool
  • Dehydration
  • Deficiencies as intestinal parasites feed inside the dog’s intestine
  • Some intestinal cases can lead to pot-bellied appearance, which is more frequent with puppy worms
  • Lethargy and depression
  • The coat can lose its shine and appear unhealthy
  • Pneumonia and respiratory distress are frequent occurrences for lungworms

It is fair to say that your dog could exhibit some of these symptoms for other health reasons. Therefore, if you suspect that your dog might have worms, it’s best to consult a vet to validate your diagnosis and receive the proper treatment.

What are the most frequent puppy worms in the UK?

In the UK, you can find 7 types of worms that can affect your dog and puppy:

  • Heartworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Hookworms
  • Lungworms
  • Whipworms
  • Mango worms

It’s worth mentioning that Ringworm, which can commonly affect puppies, immunocompromised pets, and senior dogs, is not related to worms in dogs. Indeed, Ringworm in dogs is a fungus infection that is superficial and only affects the skin, fur and nails.

Roundworms, whipworms, hookworms and tapeworms in dogs are intestinal parasites. They can severely affect your dog’s digestion, leading to abdominal pains, weight loss, vomiting, and sometimes itchy bottoms. Typically, a tapeworm would need to stay attached inside your dog’s intestine for a prolonged period to cause irreversible damage. More often than not, dogs rapidly recover from the temporary anaemia and discomfort caused by the intestinal parasite.

Lungworms and heartworms are parasites that can be fatal to your dogs that they affect essential respiratory and cardiac functions. Both can lead to respiratory distress, weight loss, tiredness, bleeding, and pale gums, which in extreme cases, can be fatal.

Mango worms in dogs are parasites that come from the mango fly – or maggot fly. The Mango fly is native to Africa but can travel around the world, making them a global worm threat. The fly uses animals and occasionally humans as hosts, burrowing under the skin to infect. Larvae will remain under the skin until they complete their life cycle and become mango flies. Typical signs of mango worms in dogs include skin bumps, lesions, and intense itching.

How do dogs get worms?

Puppy worms can be inherited from the mother. All worms in dogs are typically transmitted through ingestion, as the exception of the mango worms.

Indeed, the most common cause of worms in dogs tend to include:

  • Eating dead animals or killing infected animals.
  • Contact with infected faeces, as worms in dog poop can be picked up.
  • Swallowing fleas – but parasites can also be transmitted directly by fleas.
  • Swallowing or licking slugs and snails in the garden and outside.

How can a vet diagnosis worms in dogs?

Worm treatment needs to be prescribed by your vet, who will diagnose the issue. More often than not, dog owners can spot early signs of discomfort before their pet displays alarming symptoms of worms. Therefore, it’s important to know that healthy dogs may not show symptoms in the early stages of infections.

However, you pay attention to early signs of worms in dogs to help your vet make a diagnosis. For instance, intestinal worms are typically found in faeces. Depending on the type, you can also see worms in dog poop or around your dog bottom – Tapeworms look like flat grains of rice, while Roundworms can resemble small spaghetti.

However, to avoid issues, you should rely on preventive worming measures.

How often should you worm a dog?

Experts recommend worming your dog every 3 months depending on your pet’s lifestyle. An active dog that spends a lot of time in wild fields and nature should be wormed more frequently, for instance.

You can find our worming treatments for dogs here. If you are unsure of the best approach, you should reach out to your vet for guidance based on your pet’s health history.

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