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Guest Post | Dog Worms Symptoms, solutions and preventive tips

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How do you take care of your pet dog? Do you take it to the salon for its coat and nail care needs? How about its health? How do you make sure that this stays healthy? As a dog owner, there are other problems that you should be worried about other than your dog urinating on the carpet or floor. There are some hazards that are not easily seen by the naked eye, but can put a toll on the quality of life for your canine pal. One of these are worms. 

Common Worm Found in Dogs

There are several types of worms that can infect you four-legged pet. Here are some:

Cute black puppy close up
1. Tapeworms. If you see some dried rice-like grains near the anal area of your dog, this is a sign of tapeworm infestation. Tapeworms consist of segments and can grow anywhere from an inch to several feet long. The small segments you see are just a part of it, usually the end of their tails, and these are where their eggs are stored. Fleas like to eat them and when other dogs accidentally ingest them, tapeworm infection could occur.

2. Whipworms. These worms live in the large intestines of dogs. They can be difficult to diagnose since their eggs rarely come in large numbers, which makes it difficult even for veterinarians to diagnose. Medication for whipworms is often given based on circumstantial evidence.

3. Roundworm. Puppies are usually infected with roundworms upon birth. These are passed from mother to pups while inside the womb. This can also be transferred through her milk. Similarly, eating faecal matter infested with whipworms can cause infestation. Roundworm larvae can remain dormant for years inside the body of older dogs, until such a time when these are ready to activate during pregnancy. Roundworms can lay as much as 200,000 eggs a day, which is why death by severe infestation is very much possible.

4. Hookworms. Hookworms thrive by eating the blood of its host. When infested in large numbers, dogs are likely to suffer from anaemia. These can kill your puppies and also cause poor stamina in older dogs.

Cute dog close up

Signs Your Dog is Suffering from Worms

How to spot if your dog already has worms? Check out the symptoms below:

1.Weight problems. Once infested with tapeworms and whipworms, your dog will not be tipping up the normal scale.

2. Loss of appetite. Roundworms can make your dog lose its appetite. Similarly, increased appetite is also a sign of dog worms. Your pet may feel the need to replenish its body with food, following the loss of nutrients to the perky parasites.

3. Pot belly. Healthy dogs are well-proportioned, even for puppies. Once their stomachs look bloated or abnormally rounded, they may have been born with worms to begin with.

4. Lack of energy. Different dog breeds will exhibit varied levels of energy. However, it is not normal for any dog to just laze around the whole day. If your dog suddenly loses its zest for the activities that it enjoyed in the past, it could be just a sign of the presence worms in its intestines.

5. Diarrhoea. Since worms mostly live in your canine petís intestines, these can disrupt its normal digestive processes, resulting to diarrhoea. 

6. Itching. Your dogís skin could also suffer with worm infestation. If your dog keeps on scratching the whole day, then you should at least know that this could be a result of worm infestation other than a simple case of dog allergy.

Dog and Bird7. Cough. The microscopic worms like roundworms can also live in the lungs of your pet. Its body will try to get rid of these by coughing it out.

8. Faecal infestation. If you see one squirming in its stool, then there are more of these hiding inside its body. Some of these can also squirm their way in its fur.

9. Vomiting. It was mentioned earlier that worms can wreak havoc in your dogís digestive processes. Aside from diarrhoea, dogs with worm also vomit, especially those infested with roundworms.

Treating Worms in Dogs

Worms can be treated with deworming medicine, also known as anthelmintic drugs. Some of these can treat several types of worm infestations, but not all of them. The corresponding medicine will depend upon the specific type of worm present in your pet dog. For example, over the counter dewormers are not effective against tapeworms. Ideally, deworming should start as early as 2 weeks for puppies, with an interval of two weeks until three months. Adult dogs should be given treatment every three months. 

Alternative Solutions

For those who are worried about the possible side-effects of deworming medicines, there are natural remedies that also work just as great on worms. Some of these are:

1. Garlic. Its efficacy has been compared to the anthelmintic lvermectin. Itís not only good for worms, but has also been found beneficial for those suffering from giardia infection. Furthermore, garlic is a great immune booster, a flea infestation solution, and a natural antibiotic. To get rid of worms, a half to two cloves of garlic should be given on a daily basis depending on the size of the dog.cute fluffy dog that looks like a teddy bear

2. Papaya. Papaya has shown positive results in treating roundworms in pigs. This too could work on pet dogs. Choose the green variety if possible. You can also use the powdered form if fresh papaya in not available in your area.

3. Pumpkin seeds. A teaspoon of ground pumpkin seeds daily for every 10 pounds of dogís weight should be enough to take care of the hookworms or tapeworms living in its intestines. And as an added bonus, pumpkin seeds are an abundance of nutrients, consisting of vitamin A, proteins, and zinc.  
4. Carrots. Having cleaner digestive tracts will make your dog less susceptible to worm infestation. Adding fruits or vegetable like carrots should help you achieve this. 

Preventive Tips 

Scoop up your dog poop immediately to prevent your dog from eating or licking it. Donít miss routine check-ups with your veterinarian. When going to the park, donít let your dog out of your sight. Your dog could end up licking or eating some worm infested faecal matter in the area. If you canít see any worms in its faeces but shows some of the symptoms mentioned above, take a stool sample to the vet for a worm larvae microscopic examination. 
Donít let dog worms take over your petís health when you can simply solve these with medications or remedies. Remember that some worms can cause death. Follow the preventive tips above to keep your pet safe.

Jordan Walker Author Bio Pic

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for 'attempting' to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages



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