If you’re a dog owner, you may have heard of the dreaded subject of worms. While hearing about them can be alarming, it is best to arm yourself with knowledge and understanding on this important topic - because knowing how to prevent or even treat your pup's worm situation is key in keeping them healthy and happy!
In this blog post, we'll dive into exactly what worms are, where dogs may get them from, and offer some solid advice for making sure that those pesky parasites won't hang around too long. So buckle up for an educational (and hopefully not too gross!) journey into the world of dog worms!
How do dogs get worms
Dogs typically become infected with worms through contact with the eggs of other animals carrying the parasites, such as wild animals, cats or other dogs.. They may also be exposed to larvae in contaminated soil or water, or from eating an infected animal – like a mouse. Fleas and ticks can also act as carriers for certain types of worms. In rare cases, dogs can contract worms by drinking contaminated tap water or by eating uncooked food that has been exposed to larvae.
Types of worms in dogs
Dogs are generally susceptible to getting worms. Some of the most common parasites that dogs typically encounter include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.
Roundworms - are the most common type of parasite encountered by dogs and can cause irritation in their digestive tracts. These worms are spread through the ingestion of eggs found in soil or feces, or when a mother dog passes them onto her puppies during gestation or nursing.
If left untreated, roundworm infestations can result in colic, vomiting, weight loss, and even death in serious cases.
Hookworms - a common type of worm that infects dogs. These worms attach themselves to the lining of the intestines and feed off the blood supply - causing anemia or malnutrition if left untreated.
Hookworms may be contracted through contact with contaminated ground or fecal matter; they can also become airborne when dried eggs become aerosolized and inhaled by an unsuspecting pup!
Whipworms - resemble small pieces of thread and can cause significant damage to a dog's intestinal lining if left untreated for a long period of time.
Whipworms live in the large intestine where they lay their eggs which, by the process of bowel movements, can then contaminate soil and water sources where other animals (such as humans) may come into contact with them - leading to infection for those who don't practice proper hygiene measures.
Tapeworms- are parasites that attach themselves to a dog's intestinal wall where they absorb nutrients from food. This prevents the dog from being able to use the nutrients for their own body, resulting in weight loss or poor nutrition if left untreated.
Tapeworms may be ingested when your pup eats infected fleas or lice that have been carrying these parasites around- so be sure to check your pet regularly for signs of these tiny pests!
Symptoms of worms in dogs
Diagnosing your dog for worms seems quite simple but each parasite affects dogs differently. What you should know is that there are a range of general warning signs that your dog may be suffering from worms. Symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Poor coat conditions
- Loss of appetite
- Instestinal blockage or pneumonia
- Blood in stool
How to get rid of worms in dogs
Treating your dog for worms might sound daunting but it’s actually simple. The solution comes in the form of a simple worming treatment that can be purchsed online or at your local vet. The worming treatment will depend on the type of worm your dog has as not all worms respond to the same treatment.
Always speak to your local veterinarian, they can recommend the appropriate worming solution for your dog and confirm that it is a parasite that is causing the symptoms in your pooch. View our range of worming solutions available online.
Can humans get worms from dogs
Yes! Although it is very rare, it is possible. The most common way humans get worms from dogs is through contact with the dog’s feces. When walking a dog, it is important to clean up after it and use disposable gloves if possible.
Other ways people can get worms include coming in contact with contaminated soil or sandboxes, direct contact with an infected animal, or consuming food or water that is contaminated with the parasite. It is best practice to always use good hygiene and wash your hands before touching your face or eating.