Know the Signs of Worms in Dogs

Dog owners should be familiar with the risks of worms in dogs; not only to themselves but to other people too. A type of internal parasite, worms in dogs can cause ill health in both humans and dogs.

Although worms in dogs can be damaging, there are often no outward signs of ill health until the worms are already damaging the dog’s health.  Although worms in dogs are hard to spot, the symptoms to look out for are general loss of condition, sickness and diarrhea. Roundworms and tapeworms are the two types of worms in dogs.

Roundworms

Roundworms can appear to be coiled in the shape of a spring, can grow to around 10cm in length and are pale white or beige colored. They might be visible in your pet’s feces or vomit. Roundworm larvae find their way into the dog’s body when they are ingested and adult worms then develop inside the dog’s body. When further eggs are later passed out of the dogs in feces, the life cycle is completed. Unfortunately, the most common type of roundworm is dogs is Toxocara Canis and it can have devastating effects on human children.If children ingest the eggs through contact with contaminated soil, the larvae can migrate through their bodies. The larvae can potentially damage children’s eyesight if they reach the eyes. This is just one of the reasons why it is so very important to clean up after your dog.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms look like flat segments filled with moving eggs which resemble grains of rice and which you may be able to see in your dog’s feces or around his anus. Fleas carry tapeworm larvae so dogs become infected when they swallow fleas whilst grooming. Inside the dog, tapeworms can grow as long as 5m.

As with most conditions the old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is true of worms in dogs. Therefore worming your dog every three months is important. Young puppies require worming even more regularly than that. Effective worming medication can be bought at either a pet shop or a veterinary surgery, but you should ask your vet to suggest the most appropriate one.

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