How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Worms?

Dogs usually aren't too worried about consequences. They love to eat things they shouldn't, roll around in things they shouldn't, and in general, act like a dog. Unfortunately, many of these things can bring on unwanted visitors like worms into your dog's world.

Fortunately, if you detect worms early it keeps them from getting worse, thereby making the problem as easy as possible on your dog.

Symptoms for dogs that may have worms:

  • Coat no longer shiny
  • Not hungry
  • Can't get enough to drink
  • You see worms or eggs in your dog's feces - This is the most common way to confirm worms. Remember though, not all kinds of worms are visible to the naked eye.
  • Visible worms in the area around dog's rear - Tapeworms can appear as small moving segments, and later dry out to look like grains of rice.
  • Rubbing the rear on the ground or against furniture - if your dog has an itch in its rear, it may be from worms in the area. However, this could also be from gland issues not related to worms.
  • Vomiting, possibly even with visible worms.
  • Bloated stomach or belly - This can often occur in puppies who receive worms from their mother.
  • Weakness, constant hunger, weight loss - Worms can steal the nutrition your dog should be getting from it's food.
  • This can cause your dog to be weak or constantly hungry, and in some cases, may be losing weight. * Diarrhea, especially if it contains blood.

What can cause the manifestation of worms:

  • Heartworms can be transmitted from mosquito bites.
  • Tapeworm infection can be caused by swallowing infected fleas.
  • Hookworm infection can be caused by swallowing the hookworm eggs or larvae. This can also affect the fetus inside the womb of an infected mother. Drinking water with hookworm larvae in it may also result in hookworm infection.
  • Roundworms can also infect a puppy fetus while inside the womb. Ingesting infected animals can also infect your dog with round worms.
  • Whipworms infection occurs due to drinking contaminated water or eating something contaminated.

How to prevent worms from manifestoing:

  • Get puppies tested early. As soon as three weeks after birth. They may already be infested and will need to be treated right away.
  • Get your dog a yearly exam and have a stool specimen checked. Several products exists that protect against roundworms and heartworms.
  • Keep Fleas away. Fleas can transmit tapeworm if your dog swallows them.
  • Keep your dog away from wildlife, where parasites abound. Dog parks that are not well maintained are a common source of parasites.
  • Prevent your dog from eating dead animals, such as those of birds, rabbits and rodents. Carcasses can carry worms.
  • Prevent your dog from eating feces. Yes, this should be obvious, but it is the most common way a dog gets intestinal parasites.

If symptoms in your dog indicate worms, take him/her to the vet to diagnose the condition. Provide your dog with proper treatment to avoid any complications.

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