The thought of your dog having a creepy organism crawling inside of them sounds scary. But as disgusting as it sounds, it is a reality.
You may think that after all the care and attention your dog has been taking, there’s barely a chance of contracting any worms. But that’s not the case. Dogs can contract these worms by either swallowing worms’ larvae, contaminated soil or stool, fleas, or larval entry through the skin.
So, there’s no way you can ensure that your dog is safe from worms. And as a devoted and responsible pet owner, it is your job to be aware of worm infestations. How can your dog get one? Symptoms if your dog got one, and how to treat a dog with worms.
Like any pet owner, you understand the joy your pet brings to the house. But like everyone, while dogs bring happiness to our lives, they are also susceptible to some diseases.
Take Goldendoodle as an example. As these affectionate dogs can be a perfect companion for us, they are at risk of worm infestation (The reason why; I keep checking their poops like a crazy parent I am). Multigenerational, F1B, or F1BB: when it comes to diseases, you have to be vigilant and proactive to ensure the well-being of your paw pal.
These worms (parasites); affect your dog’s health with noticeable discomfort. It could be any of either;
- Roundworms: It is the most common type of worm. Dogs may become infected by consuming infectious eggs or animals (rodents, rabbits, or birds).
- Tapeworms: An intestinal parasite that can enter your dog when they eat a tapeworm or flea-infested wild animal. The flea then gives eggs and attaches to their intestines.
- Whipworms: A worm that lives in the cecum and colon (large intestines). They can get this worm by ingesting soil, water, food, or faeces. Their eggs are in the dog’s faeces. Therefore, it is necessary to clean up your dog immediately.
- Hookworms: Another intestinal worm that can cause anaemia in dogs leading to fatalities. Hookworms are present in the environment, or the larvae get passed on from the mother. Once attached to the intestinal walls, it sucks too much blood.
- Heartworms: The most problematic of all the heartworms transmits through mosquitos. They grow in the heart: causing heart and lung diseases leading to death. This worm is the most alarming because keeping your dog safe from mosquitos is the hardest to deal with, yet it is preventive.
Learn the five kinds of worms and how they attack. Understand that some of these could spread to humans or other dogs.
Signs and Symptoms of Worm Infestation
While dogs may show no sign or symptoms at early or mild cases of worm infestations, severe cases may show symptoms of;
- Changes in Appetite: A drastic increase or decrease in your dog’s appetite may indicate the presence of worms. Always pay attention to their regular eating habits.
- Weight Loss: A sudden weight loss that goes unnoticed. Weight loss despite regular food intake could be a sign of worms. It means that worms are decreasing your dog’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
- Vomiting or Diarrhoea: Diarrhea with sometimes blood or mucus. Or vomiting with perhaps worms is a visible sign of worm infestation.
- Abdominal Discomfort: Pay attention to your dog’s belly region and see if it’s bloated. Your pet may show some signs of discomfort or pain in their abdomen. If they are constantly whining, have an arched back, or have a generally weak appearance: there is a possibility of worm presence.
- Lethargy and Weakness: This often goes unnoticed, but due to loss of appetite or pain in the abdominal region, your furball tends to get weaker with each passing day. If your Goldendoodle seems more out of energy than usual, talk to your vet to see if there’s any underlying cause.
- Visible Worms: Visible worms or segments that look like grains of rice attached to your dog’s fur, their tail, or found in faeces.
These are some common and primary symptoms. However, there are other symptoms, such as; poor coat condition, pneumonia, dehydration, ad excessive scooting.
If your dog has worms, there’s only one way out; Veterinarian! There are many kinds of worms, and according to their severity and your dog’s health record: your vet can help you. The vet will perform an accurate diagnosis and provide an appropriate treatment plan. This treatment plan may include
- Deworming Medication
No single dewormer can work for all types of worms. Your vet will prescribe a specific one for your pup. Nonetheless, they are either tablets or a spot-on treatment of injections. Follow the guides and instructions of your vet carefully for dosage and administration.
Apart from the regular administration of medications, your vet may advise you on some preventive medicines. It could be a topical or oral flea or tick prevention medication for a month to prevent tapeworm recurrence.
- Healthy Environment
You must maintain a healthy and clean environment for your dog to prevent worm infestations. Practice picking up after your dog’s waste without delay. A clean dog and a tidy living area are crucial. Providing hygienic water and food in sterile food bowls is the primary step to a healthy life.
- Regular Check-ups
Lastly, even after your dog is back on track, don’t forget their regular check-up. It will help their vet diagnose any problem or disease in its early stages and provide treatments accordingly.
In summary, once your vet has done the faecal examination and determines the kind of worm infestation, they will prescribe a suitable medicine. With medication, preventive measures and cleaning up your dog’s waste can save you from future trouble.
Preventing Worm Infestations
We all know prevention is better than cure for a disease. It’s easier on the pockets and hearts (I know it hurts to see your canine companion in pain).
Therefore, be attentive and take measures to prevent or (at least) minimize the risks of worm attacks on your poor puppy. Here are a few preventive measures we’ve tried on our four-legged friend
- Start providing preventive medications as recommended by your vet. Most parasites have a three-four weeks cycle. So, a monthly dewormer would be enough.
- Restrict spending time where there is a high concentration of dog faeces; or where many dogs are gathering (like parks). Dogs can acquire egg larvae in such places.
- Dogs are prone to get infected right after deworming. Thus, it requires special attention to clean up immediately after them. Also, practice good hygiene and wash your hands before and after handling your dog.
- Don’t let them hunt rodents or other wild animals that could be infected.
While worm infections are troublesome, they can be treated and prevented. Practice good hygiene habits and pay attention to your dog’s environment today; to save them from infestations in the future.
As a pet parent, you are responsible for the health and well-being of your canine partner. In case of any unusual signs or symptoms, contact your vet without any further delay.
With proper care, treatment, and preventive measures: you can provide your furry friend with a long and healthy life. Remember that the bond you share with your Poodle is beyond playtime. It is about caring for each other and providing them with a life free from discomfort and pain.