Naturally, nobody would like to imagine the presence of creepy crawlies in their four-legged fellows. But, unfortunately, sometimes these creatures infest the internal organs of dogs and inflict overall health problems. Therefore, it is wise to know about the ways of parasite and worm infestation, symptoms, risks, and treatment options.
First, let’s try to understand how these worms get entry into your dog’s body.
How do dogs get worms?
Dogs are easily susceptible to get worms due to their social nature and outdoor lifestyles. There is no age or breed restriction; rather, they can easily contract with worms by following ways;
Consuming contaminated milk from nursing mothers during early ages
Their instincts to sniff, eat or lick contaminated soil during outdoor walking
Preying contaminated reptiles, birds, and rodents
Intentionally or unintentionally, ingestion of mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas
Contracting with other infected dog and an animal from different specie
Eating poop of other dogs that have complains of worm infestation
What are the symptoms of dogs having worms?
Different parasites have their particular predilection sites; therefore, symptoms vary with the type of parasite being infested. Intestinal worms are most common which causes;
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Coat dullness
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Blood-stained stool
- Loss of appetite
Moreover, heart-worms are notorious for exhibiting respiratory signs predominantly. These include exercise intolerance, coughing, weight loss, weak pulse, and ultimately laboured breathing and death.
What types of worms are present in dogs?
Predominantly, five types of worms are of great concern in dogs.
Rounds worms harbour the intestinal tract of dogs and can transmit from the mother to the puppy. Therefore, oro-faecal transmission from one dog to the other is of great concern.
T. leonina and T. canis are the most important roundworms in dogs, and the latter is common in young dogs and can be transmitted to humans.
Its predilection site is the intestines, and dogs can get these worms by eating infected fleas or wild animals. In addition, segments of tapeworm are present in the dog's stool, which can be detected by microscopy.
D. canium is the common type of tapeworm in dogs present in the United States.
These parasitic worms also harbour the intestinal tract of dogs and cause anaemia by sucking a large amount of blood. In addition, young puppies can acquire this infestation of Ancylostoma canium by consuming milk from the infected mother.
Whipworms are present in the cecum and colon of the dog, and their eggs are also present in the faeces. Therefore, the sources of such infestations in dogs are eating infected food, animals, soil, and faeces.
Mosquitoes are the major agents to transmit heartworms in dogs. These worms cause serious heart and respiratory problems that may lead to the death of the dog.
What are the ways to prevent my dog from worms?
You need to ensure the provision of initial treatments to young puppies along with monthly basis deworming protocols. Moreover, make a habit of performing a faecal examination of your dog three times a year and maintain hygienic measures. As further prevention, bolstering the intestinal ecology with a robust probiotic supplement can act as a preventive measure against worms.
Ways to Treat Dog Worms
The role of probiotics:
Probiotic supplements boost up the intestinal functioning of the dog’s gut by introducing beneficial bacteria. These microbes also help to enhance the immunity to combat parasitic infestations like worms.
The living area of dogs is of great concern to avoid the exposure of infectious agents. A dog living with proper hygienic measures with regular grooming and cleaning is less likely to get worms infestation. And finally, it's always a good idea to keep the intestinal ecology strong and healthy.