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Dog Worms

Dog Heartworm, Tapeworm, Hookworm, Roundworm, and Whipworm

Internal parasites (worms) can be as tiny as a speck, or as long as spaghetti, but they all have one thing in common: they love to hang out inside your pet.

Some, like heartworms and hookworms can be fatal and a few can even spread to humans. However, many infestations can be prevented and most can be eradicated if detected and treated early.

There are five kinds of internal parasites or worms which are important in dogs.

Dog Heartworm
Dog Tapeworms which are a problem in dogs of most ages
Dog Hookworms which will affect dogs of all ages
Dog Roundworms which are mainly a problem in young dogs
Dog Whipworms which are mainly a problem in older dogs

Roundworms and hookworms are found a lot in puppies and sometimes in adult dogs. Whipworms, tapeworms, and heartworms are seen more in older dogs.

Most worm infestations cause any or all of these symptoms:

– General poor appearance
– Lethargy
– Vomiting and dry heaving (perhaps with worms in the vomit)
– Diarrhea (perhaps with blood), malodorous stool
– Bloating or distended abdomen
– Poor appetite and weight loss
– Worms in the feces
– Scooting or biting near anal area

However, some infestations cause few or no symptoms at all. Some worm eggs or larvae can be dormant in the dog’s body and activated only in times of stress, or in the case of roundworms and hookworms, until the later stages of pregnancy when they activate and infest the soon-to-be-born puppies and kittens. Therefore, routine screening is very important.

Your veterinarian can tell you if your dog has intestinal worms by checking a fecal sample or a blood sample to see if it has any heartworms. Most veterinarians recommend checking once a year to make sure your dog is free of worms, and if he does, medication is given to get rid of them. Early diagnosis for the presence and type of intestinal parasite is very important. The stool (only about a teaspoonful is needed) is mixed with a special solution to make the microscopic eggs more visible.

Depending upon which kind of worm is present a certain type of wormer may have to be used. Not all worms respond to the same treatment and no single wormer works against all kinds of parasites. Your veterinarian will recommend the best treatment for your dog.

Dog Worms Conclusion – the bottom line

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