Worms & All You Need to Know About Them

Nobody likes the thought that their fur-friend may be carrying worms and although worms are almost inevitable in dogs fortunately they are also very treatable. Knowing what to look for and how to treat worms is key in protecting your dog’s health. Through this article we break down how dogs get worms, 4 of the main types, key symptoms and how to treat worms in your dog. 

How Do Dogs Get Worms?

Depending on the type of worms your pet has, the way they contract them may differ. The most common way for dogs to contract worms is when they eat contaminated soil, lick contaminated fur or paws, or drink water contaminated with the stool from infected dogs. Other ways your dog may contract worms include through fleas and small rodents or accidentally eating worm eggs and larval.

Types of Worms

Roundworms are the most common internal parasite a dog can contract, and can grow to be several inches long. Typically, dogs get infected by roundworms when they come into contact with contaminated feces. Most puppies are born with roundworms or get them from their mother's milk, and if left untreated, can cause respiratory issues.
Hookworms are the second-most common type of parasite found in dogs and they're also the most problematic. Hookworms can enter through the dog's mouth or skin, and usually cause a creeping, itchy eruption. Puppies are at the greatest risk of contracting hookworms.
Tapeworms don't typically harm dogs. These parasites are long, flat, and white, with visible body segments. These worms are usually transmitted through fleas, lice, and rodents
Whipworms are the least common of the parasites and, like a whip, they're tiny, threadlike, and wider at one end. These parasites typically enter the body after a dog has come into contact with soil that's been polluted with fecal matter containing whipworm larvae.

Symptoms of Having Worms

While the initial symptoms of worms in dogs are similar to those of other illnesses, it's important that you know what to be on the lookout for. These are the five most common symptom of worms in dogs:

1. Change in or loss of appetite;
2. Vomiting and diarrhea;
3. Changes to the dog's coat (i.e. dandruff);
4. Weight loss;
5.  Lethargy

Different types of worms can bring about additional symptoms; therefore, it is always important to keep an eye on your dog’s behavioral patterns and take them to the vet if you notice any major changes.

How to Treat Worms

The most common treatment for worms in dogs is deworming medication. VetSopAustralia’s Dr. Mark recommends RSPCA’s Allwormer Tablets as they've just had a price change! These tablets control Roundworms, Whipworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms as well as Hydatid Tapeworm and won't break the bank account - shop now. 
If you’d like more vet approved pet health advice, sign up to our monthly newsletter here, or visit www.vetshopaustralia.com.au/Pet-Health.

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