As a responsible pet owner, you’re probably aware that dogs can contract worms in the form of intestinal parasites and heartworms. The best treatment option is prevention, so take the time to learn how worms are transmitted. This way, you can prevent your dog from getting worms in the first place.
How Do Dogs Get Hookworms?
Hookworms are three-millimeter-long intestinal parasites that attach themselves to your dog’s intestinal lining with hook-like mouths. There, they feed off tiny blood vessels, which can lead to anemia if left untreated.
Dogs can get hookworms in the following ways:
- Ingestion: Eating contaminated feces, sniffing contaminated soil, or drinking contaminated water can introduce hookworms into your dog’s intestines.
- Direct contact with the skin: Larvae in contaminated soil can burrow into the skin of unsuspecting dogs.
- From the mother: Infected dogs can pass on hookworms to their puppies in utero or through their milk when newborn puppies nurse.
How Do Dogs Get Roundworms?
Roundworms resemble spaghetti and grow to be a few inches long. They eat the food of their host, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.
Dogs can get roundworms in the following ways:
- From the environment: Eating contaminated feces or small animals can introduce roundworms into your dog’s digestive system.
- From the mother: Puppies can be infected with roundworms in utero or from drinking their mother’s milk.
How Do Dogs Get Whipworms?
Whipworms live in the cecum where the small and large intestines connect. Although they are only one-quarter-inch-long, they can cause serious digestive trouble as they suck the blood of their host.
Dogs get whipworms from eating whipworm eggs. This can happen more easily than you think. All it takes is a stroll through a grassy area where an infected dog did its business minutes, hours, days, or even months ago. If your dog unknowingly gets whipworm eggs on his paws and then grooms himself, the eggs will enter his body where they quickly hatch, lodge, feed, and grow.
How Do Dogs Get Tapeworms?
Tapeworms are segmented parasites that can grow up to eight inches long. They absorb nutrients from your dog’s intestine where they attach themselves with hook-like suckers.
Dogs get tapeworms from swallowing fleas. These parasites living on your dog’s skin can carry tapeworm larvae, so if your dog bites and licks his irritated skin, he could easily ingest an infected flea and contract tapeworms.
How Do Dogs Get Heartworms?
Unlike the other parasites examined here, heartworms don’t live in your dog’s intestines. Instead, they thrive in the lungs and heart, causing blood clots that could be fatal if left untreated.
Dogs get heartworms from mosquito bites. There’s no way to tell if a mosquito is infected, and heartworms have been reported in all 50 states, so it’s important to put your dog on heartworm medication as a preventative measure.
Prevent & Treat Dog Worms at Germantown Vet
Whether you’re looking for a heartworm prevention method or you think your dog has an intestinal parasite, please visit Germantown Vet Clinic in Montgomery County for professional deworming services and preventative medication. We’re here to make sure your pet stays happy and healthy with early detection, careful treatment, and effective prevention.
Please call Germantown Vet at 240-252-7467 today or contact us online to schedule your dog’s next visit to our clinic.