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What Exactly are Dog Worms?
Worms are an internal parasite that usually live in the intestines of a dog. There are many different types of worms that may affect dogs. There are two main categories of worms in dogs; the intestinal parasites, as well as a fungal infection. The 5 main types of dog worms are:
Each of these types of worms in dogs have both common and unique symptoms. Some are very easy to diagnose and are actually visible to the eye, where as some are a little more difficult to determine and treat.
Dogs can become infected with worms in many different ways. Some may remain dormant with no symptoms until awakened by stressful situations, pregnancy and illness. Some worms may be caught by mosquitos, consuming feces and rotten garbage, even from wild animals and other dogs.
Puppies may actually be born and infected with worms. Some parasitic worms will remain dormant in the pregnant mother until she is due to give birth. Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of these worms until they have infected the pups. Some mothers will even pass worms to their puppies through their milk.
Symptom of Worms in Dogs
Dog Worms Symptoms of worms in dogs can be beneficial in diagnosing which type of worm may be affecting your dog. Some worms have unique symptoms, and some do not portray any symptoms at all. It is important to regularly check your dog’s stool for any signs of worms if his behaviour seems to be off. Most symptoms of worms in dogs will include the following:
- Diarrhea, sometimes containing blood
- Weight loss
- Vomiting, sometimes containing worms
- Bloated stomach
- Dragging his rear on the carpet
- General unhealthy appearance
- Worms in dog poop
To find out more of each type of worm and its unique symptoms, be sure to visit our other pages designated for different types of worms. It is important to determine which type of worm your dog may be infected with in order to seek proper treatment. If you notice any symptoms of dog worms, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and a list of treatment options based on your dog’s particular case.
Dog Worms Treatment
When you bring your dog to the vet for worm treatment, there are a few steps he will take. The vet will observe what symptoms of worms in dogs are displayed and likely take a stool sample to determine the exact type of worm affecting your dog. These fecal tests will determine if there are larvae and eggs in your dog’s intestines as well. They will also be able to rule out the possibility of a different illness.
Once your dog has been diagnosed with worms, the vet will prescribe a deworming product for his specific case. Often times, you will not need a prescription to purchase deworming products, but it is not recommended to use dewormers until you have been properly diagnosed by a veterinarian.
It is known that certain internal parasites can only be controlled, but not eliminated. This process takes many examinations of fecal matter to keep the worms under control and ensure they do not worsen.
For more information about treatment for dog worms, you must first determine what kind of worm your dog may have. Once determined, visit our pages on worms for proper treatment of each type of worm.
Home Remedies for Dog Worms
Home remedies can be given to help ease symptoms of worms in dogs. Home remedies for dog worms should not replace prescribed medications, but simply act as an extra aid. Always talk to your veterinarian about home remedies for dog worms, and if they are safe to combine with a deworming medication.
The following are home remedies for dog worms:
Wormwood – Wormwood helps to pass the worms through your dog’s digestive system more quickly. Wormwood is also said to help prevent a worm re-infestation.
Clove – Clove is known to have anti-parasitic properties, which can be very useful in treating worms in dogs. Mixing a bit of clove in with your dog’s food may help to kill worms in your dog’s digestive tract and prevent reproduction of worms in dogs.
Fennel – Fennel is a natural immune system booster that can be given to dogs to help expel worms from your dog’s intestinal tract.
Garlic – Garlic has been used for many years to treat intestinal worms. Garlic oil as well as fresh garlic can be used to help kill current worms in the digestive tract as well as help to repel them. It is important to note that too much garlic is dangerous to your dog, so never overfeed garlic to your dog.
Diatomaceous earth – Diatomaceous earth cut through the exoskeletons of the worms that may be affecting your dog. This causes dehydration of the worms, which will kill them. Diatomaceous earth should be all-natural and unrefined. It can be added to your dog’s food to help kill worms.
Keep in mind that not all remedies will treat worms. Some may only treat a specific type of worm, where as it may not work for another type. For example, ringworms usually affect the exterior of the skin and may require a topical home remedy such as tea tree oil. Tea tree oil will not work for intestinal worms.
Preventing Dog Worms
The best way to treat your dog with worms is to simply avoid them altogether. There are a number of precautions you can take to prevent worms in dogs:
- Have puppies tested at 2 or 3 weeks after birth. Often times, puppies are infested with worms and will need to be treated and dewormed. If not, they have a high chance of death.
- Prevent your dog from consuming feces, both his own and other animals and dogs. Wild animals have many parasites and germs and their feces could very well be contaminated with worms. Clean your dog’s feces from the yard and correct the behavior immediately.
- Keep your yard free of dead rodents and garbage. These could both carry parasites that could make your dog very sick, as well as cause worms in dogs.
- Avoid unkept dog parks. Have your dog checked if he is a recent adoption from a shelter as well, as some cannot afford to treat worms in dogs.
- Be sure to control fleas in your home and yard, and seek treatment immediately if your dog contracts fleas. Fleas can transmit tapeworms.
- Keep up on annual exams. Your vet can examine his feces to determine if he has worms that don’t show any symptoms.
Have your dog properly vaccinated if you plan on traveling. Certain parts of the world carry different and more common parasites and bacteria that could give your dog worms.