Worms in dogs are a kind of parasite that mostly live in the intestine of a dog. Some types such as heartworm or hookworm might be deadly, but other than that they are mostly harmless. Being aware of how to protect your dog from worms will be of assistance in that the serious health risks that can come from them can be avoided. The main thing that you need to keep in mind is being able to recognize worms and if necessary treat them in the correct way. This article looks at the top 10 facts you need to know about keeping your dog safe from worms.
There are a few types of worms dogs become infested with - whipworm, roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm and heartworm. Hookworm and heartworm can be dangerous but most other types aren't. The fact that heartworm lives inside the heart and may cause heart failure makes it dangerous.Most puppies have roundworm passed onto them by their mother. it's a good idea to get rid of them, though they are quite harmless. They can make your puppy hungry, or enlarge their belly. If they're infested with high amounts they might also vomit them out.Hookworm feeds on a dogs blood rather than their food and this can make them dangerous. This can cause anemia and potentially result in death. A dog that has these worms will be noticeably weaker and their feces will be black.Hunting or swallowing a flea might lead to a dog catching tapeworm. If a dog has these they will most likely be hungry more than usual. As they try to pass them they can also become stuck to a dog's rear end.Whipworm is probably the most common worm dogs come across, though since it mostly remains dormant there are no noticeable signs that a dog has it. Diarrhea and weight loss might be visible if they're infested by high amounts.Heartworm is passed onto a dog through mosquitoes and it's necessary to give your dog a monthly heartworm preventative to keep them safe. If they become infected by a large amount then it's necessary to take them to hospital, but a small amount usually won't harm them.In case you need to treat your dog for worms it's a good idea to be able to recognize the signs. When a dog tries to pass them naturally they might be seen in their vomit or feces. Weight loss, diarrhea, increased appetite or reduced energy are other things you should look out for.One of the other signs a dog might have worms is if you see them rubbing their rear end along the floor. This is in an effort to remove the irritation, but it can actually be a symptom of other conditions as well.Dogs are often immune for life once they get over them as a puppy. There's often no need to worry as long as they have a healthy diet. A chemical dewormer from your vet is the usual form of treatment if your dog ever does catch worms.There are a few other steps you can take to prevent your dog getting worms. Don't let them eat feces or animal remains and try to limit their contact with stray dogs or wildlife. Fleas can often transmit worms so you should try to ensure they are kept treated for them as well.