Worms are one of the most common health problems for a dog. Fortunately, most cases are also very treatable. Since your dog can't speak English, you need to be vigilant and watch for any unusual behaviour.
Types of Worms
- Roundworms can grow up to six inches in length. They live in the intestines and appear as small, noodle-like bits in faecal matter. They cause swollen bellies and are an especially big problem for puppies.
- Hookworms are thin and small. They bite or "hook" into the intestinal wall and are not always visible to the naked eye. Hookworms can cause internal bleeding, resulting in bloody stool or anaemia.
- Tapeworms are flat, long worms that live in the intestines. Segments of the tapeworm break off and are visible to the naked eye as rice-like grains after they dry out.
- Heartworms are among the most dangerous because they are so hard to detect. They are spread by mosquito bites. Normally, until the larvae mature and congregate inside the dog's heart, they produce no symptoms or signs of illness. Heart damage can be fatal. Signs of heartworm infection are weakness, coughing during exercise, severe weight loss, fainting, coughing up blood and, finally, congestive heart failure.
- Whipworms are thin and thread-like. They live in the large intestine. Adults may be visible to the naked eye, but do not tend to appear in faeces so can be difficult to detect. A microscope examination of several faecal samples may be necessary. Whipworms are one of the most difficult worms to eliminate, but they are treatable.
If you think your dog has worms, bring your loved one in to Totivet
There are safe and effective treatments available, which we will likely prescribe. For the most common types of worms, there are some all-in-one medications in flavoured chewable tablets.
It might even be recommend that especially vulnerable dogs take monthly tablets to prevent worms.