Intestinal parasites can cause a variety of health problems in dogs. The most common include hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms. While prevention is the best approach, almost all cases of dog worms in can be detected and treated at Germantown Vet.
If your pup shows signs of worms, don’t ignore it – schedule a visit to our clinic to begin treatment and start on preventative medications to avoid a recurrence. Contact us at 240-252-7467 to schedule an appointment for your dog.
What Are Worms?
The worms that infest a dog’s intestinal tract begin as microscopic parasites, inhabiting unhygienic surfaces until ingested by an animal. Worms often enter your dog’s body after he eats infected soil, raw meat, carrion or feces.
- Hookworms are the most common intestinal worms your dog can contract. They’re transmitted from infected feces or even directly through the skin if your dog walks through wet sand or grass where larvae are active.
- Roundworms often infect puppies, which can be born with the parasite when the mother passes along the dormant larvae living in her tissues.
- Whipworms live in soil and can infect your dog if he licks his dirty paws. They can be a real nuisance for your dog and are sometimes problematic to diagnose because the worms shed relatively few eggs, making stool tests inconclusive.
- Tapeworms can be transmitted to your dog if he eats infected soil, fleas or rodents. These worms grow into large segmented parasites that live in the small intestine. They usually cause relatively little harm except for extreme cases.
Symptoms of Worms in Dogs
While symptoms vary slightly depending on what type of worms are living in your dog’s intestines, watch for these signs that something is wrong:
- Nervous behavior
- Dull coat and dry skin
- Mucus or blood in the feces
- Signs of intestinal trouble, such as diarrhea, vomiting, refusal to eat or drink, intestinal pain, or weight loss
- Signs of anemia (low red blood cell count), including weakness, lethargy or fast heart rate
- Discovering a worm segment where your dog likes to lay
Treating Dog Worms
Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent health complications. A stool test is the most common way to check for worms, though some eggs are easier to spot in stool samples than others. The vet often mixes a sample with a special solution to make microscopic eggs easier to spot under a microscope.
The treatment your vet recommends depends on the type of worms your dog is diagnosed with. Usually, treatment involves taking a dewormer solution to kill the parasites and pass them through your dog’s system. Most treatments take only a few days to complete, though repeat vet visits and stool tests in the weeks following ensure the treatment was completely effective.
Once your dog is worm-free, keep it that way with preventative measures. For example, ask your vet for a wormer medication your dog can take. Also, watch your dog closely when playing outside to make sure he doesn’t attempt to eat dirt or feces.
Visit Germantown Vet for Dog Worm Treatment
Speedy treatment isn’t just important to preserve your dog’s health – it’s also important for keeping you and your family worm-free. Many dog worms can infect humans as well, so eliminating them in your pet removes this health hazard from your home.
If you notice anything odd about your dog’s behavior that could signify worms, bring him to Germantown Vet for a pet parasite visit. The earlier we catch the problem, the sooner treatment can begin. To schedule your pet’s appointment, please contact Germantown Vet today.