Worms in Dogs: Protect the Whole Family

In the UK, worms in dogs are a common issue. They can lead to ill health and distress in our pets and can re-infest them at any time. Across the entire world there are many types of parasites which are grouped under the term ‘worms in dogs’ but in the UK we deal primarily with just two. These are the tapeworm and the roundworm.

Roundworms cause difficulties when they are passed from one dog to another and more so when most puppies are born with an infestation. This type of worm resembles short lengths of spaghetti. Fully mature worms live in the dog’s intestines and feed off its contents. This means that the partially digested food is eaten by the worms, forcing your dog to share its dinner. The amount of worms present depends on whether the infestation is very severe or not, but it is possible that dozens of worms could be present at any one time. Obviously when a dog is sharing its food with dozens of parasites it is not uncommon for it to become undernourished. Severe infestations can lead to loss of energy and a dull coat. Other symptoms include diarrhoea and vomiting. In puppies, roundworms may cause a distended abdomen and delayed growth. Untreated roundworm infestations could actually kill a puppy by blocking their intestines. However, do remember that worms in dogs do not always cause the appearance of symptoms. Regular worming treatment should still be used.

In adult dogs, some worm larvae can migrate around the body, settling in muscles and forming cysts. In this form, even worming treatment cannot remove the larvae. The larvae has the ability to lie dormant in the adult dog’s body until a time of stress reactivates them. They normally become active during pregnancy and infest unborn puppies by migrating to the womb. This means it is very important to worm all puppies.

Worms in dogs can actually cause problems for people as well. Children are especially at risk because they are more likely to come into contact with worm eggs in soil whilst playing. Worm larvae can migrate through the child’s body and have been known to cause lasting eye damage if settling near the back of the eye. Regular worms in dogs treatment therefore protects the whole family and not just our pets.