Worms are a common health problem in dogs; they are dangerous and can impair dog’s growth and reproduction. Different types of worms can affect dogs; each of these worms has their specific site of action; where they grow and damage surrounding tissues. One of the major signs of worms in dogs is when they appear in their poops.
Worms cause damage to a dog’s health by infesting a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, leading to a range of health issues such as poor utilization of food, poor growth, and ill-function of the gastrointestinal tract of the dog. We have compiled the major worms that affect dogs and their pictures in poops for you to know how they look and treatment medications. Read Up!
Impacts of Worms On Dog’s Health
Worms can negatively impact your dog’s health and quality of life in several ways:
1) Malnutrition: Worms steal nutrition from your dog’s food. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and malnutrition. Puppies with heavy worm burdens may fail to thrive and have stunted growth.
2) Diarrhea/Vomiting: Worms irritate the intestinal lining, often causing diarrhea or vomiting. This leads to dehydration and further nutrient losses.
3) Colic: Some worms, like roundworms, can migrate and get trapped in the intestines, causing an intestinal blockage or colic. This is very painful and sometimes fatal.
4) Weight Loss: Between stealing nutrients and causing gastrointestinal issues, worms frequently cause weight loss in dogs.
5) Dull Coat: Worms can contribute to a dull, dry coat from the nutritional deficiencies they create.
6) Coughing: Heartworms and some types of roundworms can migrate to the heart and lungs, causing coughing.
It is important to note that worms can spread from dogs to humans, especially children. So regular deworming is important for your whole family’s health. By recognizing the signs of worms and deworming appropriately, you can help your dog avoid these harmful effects.
The Main Types of Worms in Dogs
Dogs can get several types of intestinal worms that can show up in their poop. The most common are:
Roundworms are long, spaghetti-like worms most commonly found in dogs, especially puppies. A dog can become infected with roundworms through their environment. Roundworm eggs hatch in the dog’s digestive tract and migrate to the lungs. Once mature, roundworms live in the small intestine where they lay eggs.
Roundworms pass through the dog’s poop and can cause problems for other dogs when they eat dirt or feces contaminated with roundworm eggs. A fecal examination will show the pictures of roundworms in dog poop after infestation. Roundworms absorb nutrients intended for the dog, which can lead to weight loss, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Tapeworms are flat, segmented worms that appear like grains of rice in dog poops. Tapeworm segments may be visible in dog poop or around the anus. Dogs can become infected when they ingest a flea or eat infected rodents. Tapeworms attach themselves to a dog’s intestines and absorb nutrients.
Tapeworms can irritate a dog’s rear, leading to scooting or licking. Your dog will suffer from skin problems and weight loss if it has tapeworms. Diagnostic tests done by the vet will reveal the pictures of tapeworms in dogs’ poop, then, proper medications will be prescribed by the vet.
Hookworms are small, thin worms that attach their head to the intestinal wall of the dog and feed on blood. Hookworms can cause blood loss leading to anemia, weight loss, diarrhea, and dark tarry poop. Dogs can get hookworms through skin contact, ingestion, or from their mother’s milk.
Hookworm can be diagnosed in dogs through various diagnostic tests carried out on the dog poop by the vet of the hookworm. As a result, hookworm larvae pictures are taken to ascertain the infestation of hookworms in dogs.
Whipworms are thin, whip-like worms that live in the cecum and colon of the dog’s large intestine. They feed on blood, tissue, fluids, and the mucosal lining. Whipworms can cause symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and general weakness.
Dogs get whipworms when they ingest soil or feces contaminated with worm eggs. Whipworms can cause chronic watery diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia. Whipworm eggs may be visible under a microscope when examining the poops.
Knowing the type of worm is important, as treatment options can vary. A vet will need to do a fecal exam to confirm the worm type and recommend the appropriate dewormers.
Symptoms of Worms in Dogs
If your dog has worms, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
– Diarrhea: Worm infections can cause diarrhea, which may be loose and watery. Severe infestations can lead to bloody diarrhea.
– Vomiting: Some types of worms can cause vomiting, especially roundworms and hookworms. The vomit may contain worms.
– Weight loss: Intestinal parasites can rob your dog of nutrients, leading to weight loss despite a normal appetite. This is especially common with hookworms.
– Dull coat: A dull, dry coat can indicate a parasite problem. Worms deprive your dog of proper nutrients, leading to poor skin and coat health.
– Potbellied appearance: Dogs with a heavy worm burden may develop a pot-bellied appearance from the abdominal distension. This is most noticeable in puppies.
– Coughing: Certain worms like roundworms and heartworms can migrate to the lungs, causing coughing spells.
– Lethargy: Worm infestations can cause lethargy and fatigue as your dog’s energy is drained from fighting the infection. Your dog may seem generally unwell.
– Change in appetite: Some dogs with a worm problem may lose their appetite. But others may develop an increased appetite yet still lose weight.
Keep an eye out for these common signs of a possible worm infection in your dog. Seek prompt veterinary advice if you notice any of these symptoms to determine if treatment is required. The sooner worms are diagnosed and addressed, the better the outcome for your dog.
Diagnosis of Worms in Dogs
Once you report to the vet, the veterinarian diagnoses the worm infection in dogs through diagnostic testing to reveal the dog worm’s images for proper identifications and treatment medications. The main diagnostic tests are:
1) Fecal exam: This is the most common test. The vet will take a fresh poop sample and examine it under a microscope to show the worm eggs in dog poop images. This allows the identification of the type of worm.
2) Fecal flotation: For this test the poop sample is mixed with a solution that causes worm eggs to float to the top for easier viewing under the microscope.
3) Tape test: Clear tape is pressed against the dog’s anus to pick up eggs for examination under the microscope. This test is best for pinworms.
4) Blood test: A blood sample may show an elevated white blood cell count if worms are present. There may also be antibodies present with certain worm infections.
5) Biopsy: Taking a tissue sample for analysis under a microscope. This can identify worms in the intestines.
6) Endoscopy: Inserting a small camera into the dog’s digestive tract to visually identify worms.
7) Ultrasound: Worms may be visible using ultrasound imaging of the dog’s abdominal organs.
The above diagnostic tests allow the veterinarian to identify the type of worm infection using the pictures, its severity, and the best course of treatment. Annual fecal testing detects worms before symptoms appear.
Treatment & Medications for Worms in Dogs
The main treatment for worms in dogs is deworming medications. There are several broad-spectrum dewormers for dogs that are effective against a variety of intestinal parasites. Some common deworming medications include:
1) Fenbendazole: This medication is effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and some tapeworms. It is given daily for 3-5 days to fully eliminate the parasites.
2) Milbemycin: Milbemycin oxime kills heartworm larvae, and intestinal worms like hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. It’s given monthly.
3) Ivermectin: Ivermectin kills roundworms, including heartworm larvae, whipworms, hookworms, and some tapeworms. It is given monthly.
4) Pyrantel pamoate: This dewormer is effective against hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. It is given every 2 weeks for repeated doses.
5) Praziquantel: Praziquantel is used to treat tapeworm infections. It causes the tapeworms to dissolve within the intestines.
6) Febantel: Febantel combined with pyrantel pamoate kills roundworms and hookworms. It is often combined with praziquantel in broad-spectrum dewormers.
7) Epsiprantel: Epsiprantel treats tapeworm infections. It paralyzes the tapeworms so they detach from the intestines and are eliminated.
Home Remedies for Worms in Dogs
As the aforementioned medications are meant for treating intestinal worms in dogs, some homemade treatment measures can be used to control and prevent worms in dogs; examples of these are:
1) Coconut Oil: Coconut oil can serve as a natural remedy for intestinal parasites in dogs because it contains lauric acid, which has anti-parasitic properties. The inclusion of a small amount of coconut oil in your dog’s food can help expel some worms.
2) Pumpkin seed: Pumpkin seeds are known to have anthelminthic properties for expelling worms. Adding pumpkin seeds to dog food or given to dogs as treats can prevent dogs from worm infestation. It is safe and has no detrimental effects.
3) Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. It is available in powdered form and can be used to eliminate worm eggs through dehydration and irritation of the cell wall.
Diatomaceous earth is used by sprinkling within the environment where your dogs play and relax. Care must be taken when using Diatomaceous earth because inhaling the powder can be harmful to you and your dogs.
It is important to add that these homemade remedies are not substitutes for proper worm treatment in dogs; They are more of preventive measures than treatment medications. While you can adopt these homemade remedies, always consult your vet for proper worm treatment for your dogs.
Prevention of Worm Infestation In Dogs
Regular deworming and good hygiene practices are key to preventing intestinal worms in dogs. Here are some tips:
– Deworming Schedule: Puppies should be dewormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months old. Adult dogs should be dewormed 1-4 times per year depending on risk factors. Always follow your vet’s recommendations.
– Clean Environment: Pick up poop promptly in the yard to remove parasite eggs. Disinfect kennels, crates, food, and water bowls regularly. Avoid dog parks and areas with lots of feces.
– Bathe your dog: Use a pet-safe shampoo and lukewarm water to wash away any stuck-on feces and eggs. Focus on paws and around the rear.
– Avoid Eating Feces: Some worms spread when dogs ingest infected feces. Keep the yard clean and train your dog not to eat poop. Use a basket muzzle when outdoors if needed.
– Flea Control: Fleas can transmit tapeworms, so treat dogs monthly with veterinary-approved flea control products.
– Wash Hands: Have kids wash their hands after playing with dogs to prevent any potential spread of worms to humans.
– Annual Fecal Tests: Your vet can check a poop sample annually for worm eggs and provide prescription dewormers as needed.
Following proper deworming, cleanliness, and fecal testing schedules from your vet helps keep your dog worm-free and healthy. A clean living environment is key to stopping the worm life cycle.
Some intestinal parasites and worms that infect dogs can be transmitted to humans, so it’s important to be aware of the risks. Children are especially vulnerable because they may come into contact with an infected dog’s feces while playing outside and accidentally ingest contaminated dirt.
Roundworms are one of the most common worms that can be passed from dogs to humans. If a human ingests infective roundworm eggs, the larvae can migrate through the body and cause serious organ damage. Another parasite called hookworms can penetrate through the skin, causing cutaneous larval migrans, an itchy skin condition.
Tapeworms are other worms that can spread from dogs to humans, usually when a person accidentally swallows an infected flea. This can lead to digestive issues and abdominal pain. Fortunately, proper prevention and deworming medication can greatly reduce the risks of zoonotic transmission. It’s still wise to practice good hygiene like washing hands after touching pets.
By picking up and disposing of dog feces promptly, the chances of environmental contamination are lowered. Overall, the risk of catching worms from a dog is relatively low, but it’s smart to be aware and take reasonable precautions. Consulting with your veterinarian about an appropriate deworming schedule can help protect the health of your pet and family members.
It’s important to have your vet diagnose the type of worms and prescribe the appropriate deworming medication and dosage for your dog. Some medications treat specific worms while broad-spectrum dewormers treat a variety including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Follow up fecal tests help determine if treatment was effective.