Does my Dog Have Worms
How to tell if my dog has worms?
You may be wondering ..
It can be difficult to ascertain whether your four-legged friend has contracted worms as there are often no symptoms until the infestation is severe. To find out if your pup needs worming at all all. There are 4 types of intestinal worms which cause problems for canines in the UK.
It's super important to know what type of worms your trying to get rid of before you go giving them tablets.
Worming Culprit #1 - Tapeworms
Way before worming starts, come diagnoses. It can be difficult to ascertain whether your four-legged friend has contracted worms as there are often no symptoms until the infestation is severe. To find out if your pup needs worming at all. There are 4 types of intestinal worms which cause problems for canines in the UK.
Worming Culprit #2 - Roundworms
Almost all puppies need worming and suffer from roundworms at some point during their lives there are 2 types Toxocara canis and Toxascara leonine one of which can also cause problems for humans.
Extremely common in puppies, the larvae of these parasites migrate through the dog’s body eventually reaching the lungs and windpipe resulting in them been coughed up and swallowed, they then become adults in the intestines. These produce thousands of eggs, which are then passed in the faeces.
In a female that is pregnant, the larvae can cross the placenta into the puppies, and can also be contracted through the milk when nursing. These worms can also infect humans usually children who have had contact with infected faeces.
This type of roundworm is less common and usually seen in adult dogs especially terriers and dogs which hunt, as rodents are the primary carriers. Adults are usually between 3-4 inches in length and can be seen in your dog’s poop or vomit.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention/Wikimedia
Worming Culprit #3 - Hookworms
Hookworms can cause some very serious health issues in your puppy and in some instances, can be fatal. More common abroad these nasty parasites can be found in moist wet environments like beaches and riverbanks.
A puppy or older breed can contract hookworms either by ingestion or they can also burrow through the skin. As the name implies they use suckers to hook onto the intestinal wall where they feed on the blood which can lead to anaemia. The good news is many of the worming tablets are effective against hookworms too (check the label).
Worming Culprit #4 - Whipworms
Whipworms are again quite common and can affect pups of any age. The eggs can survive in the environment for several years and can be contracted either by contaminated food, water or soil as well as infected faeces from other animals.
Whipworms can be extremely difficult to diagnose because it takes months for an adult to start to produce eggs and these are passed on an irregular basis so may not be picked up even when tested by a vet. Many vets will prescribe a pet suffering from chronic diarrhoea with treatment for this parasite and some of the multi-wormers available will also get rid of these dangerous parasites.
What about Lungworm?
Lungworm is becoming increasingly common in this country and can make your pet extremely ill, in fact, 9% of dogs with a heavy infestation die.
Lugworms can be contacted in one of two ways; the larvae can be found in slug and snail trails (on average there are over 20,000 of these in an average British garden)
We wrote extensively here on the types of worms dog get: dogsbarn.com/worming-dogs/
Symptoms of lungworm include:
- Respiratory problems
- Loss of appetite
- Sickness and/or diarrhoea
- Weight loss
- Pale gums
Unfortunately, in many cases these symptoms do not show themselves until it is too late
Read real owners heart-breaking stories about lungworm here
Thankfully, there are ways to limit your furry friends’ exposure to lungworm larvae.
Regular worming treatments are the best method however, many only treat the most common types of worms. These are roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms so it is important to check that you buy the right one. It is a good idea to speak to your vet about the best lungworm control.
Always pick up your dog’s faeces immediately, this prevents the transmission of parasites and make sure toys and bowls are not left in the garden overnight or if they are thoroughly cleaned.
Did you know?
There is a simple blood-test that determines if your dog has contracted lungworm and if this is the case your vet can prescribe treatment as well as any other medications needed for other more serious signs such as breathing problems
If you want to incorporate lungworm prevention into your regular de-worming routine, remember it needs to be monthly to be effective. Why not try one of these products?
- Milbemax for dogs – A combined wormer which is effective against lungworm
- Advocate spot on for dogs - treats fleas, every type of worm plus ear mites, biting lice, demodex and sarcoptic mange
- Panacur worming granules – individual sachets which contain Fenbendazole, a popular de-worming agent
Al these products are reviewed in detail here: dogsbarn.com/dog-worming-tablets/