Getting worms in dogs is not a fun experience, but they can be treatable and preventable. Dogs get worms in different ways, but the main source is contaminated soil. Often, dogs come in contact with the contaminated soil while on walks or playing. Some wild animals can also carry worms, which they pass on to dogs.
The best way to prevent worms in your dog is to keep them healthy. A healthy lifestyle, regular fecal exams, and preventative treatments can all help to reduce the risk of infestations. If your dog is infested with worms, it is important to get them treated promptly. A worm infestation can be very uncomfortable for your dog, and may lead to more serious conditions. It is also important to get your dog treated if he has gastrointestinal symptoms, like diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy.
The best way to diagnose your dog’s worms is by taking a stool sample. A veterinarian will use a microscope to examine the stool for signs of worms. If the vet finds any signs of worms, he will give your dog medication to kill them. This treatment will be specific to the type of worm. Usually, safe worming medication includes piperazine, fenbendazole, and milbemycin.
Some of the common worms in dogs are hookworms, roundworms, and heartworms. Each of these can cause damage to the dog’s organs and can be life threatening. You can prevent your dog from getting worms by preventing him from eating contaminated soil and carcasses. You can also reduce the risk by picking up your dog’s feces regularly. Your vet may prescribe an injection or oral dewormer to kill the worms.
The life cycle of the worms can vary, but they usually start in the feces and move through the dog’s digestive tract. The eggs of the worms are too small to see with the naked eye, but they can be seen under a microscope. The eggs then hatch into infective larvae. The larvae then move through the dog’s lungs, liver, and intestines. When the larvae mature, they can be passed on to other animals. When puppies or kittens are born, they can pick up worms from their mothers.
Some worms, such as heartworms, are only found in the bloodstream, so they cannot be passed on to other animals. Heartworms can cause breathing problems and heart failure, so it is important to take care of your dog’s heart. A blood test can determine if your dog has heartworms, but if he does, you will need to find out how to treat them.
Hookworms are three-millimeter-long worms that live in the digestive tracts of dogs. They can be introduced to the dog through ingestion or direct contact with the dog’s skin. They feed off of tiny blood vessels in the dog’s intestinal tract. The hookworm has multiple sets of teeth that latch onto the small intestine. If left untreated, the worms can cause anemia, bloody diarrhea, and lethargy.
Roundworms, meanwhile, are round and spaghetti-like in shape. They appear to be harmless, but they can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Many puppies are born infested with roundworms. They can also be passed on to nursing kittens.