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Canine Worms

Canine Worms

Canine worms are the parasites that have adverse affects on the health of your pet dog. In this article, we will know more about the causes, signs and treatment of infections in worms that affect a dog's health.
Kundan Pandey
Dogs are commonly host to a variety of parasitic infections and canine worm infections can be said to be one of the most common dog health problem. Canine worms act as parasites by living in the body of the dog and infecting it with various diseases. Pet owners who are aware about the geographical distribution of canine worms know that they thrive in specific seasons and pose a threat for their dog's health. The causes of canine worm infections in dogs are unhygienic living conditions of the dog and contamination from infected food.

The common canine worms that can cause infection to the dogs are:
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Hookworms
  • Heartworms
  • Whipworms
The symptoms of canine worm infections depend on the type of worm that has infected the dog. The dogs infected by roundworm infections show signs of a bloated belly, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In some dogs, diarrhea is accompanied by continuous vomiting. Roundworm infection, in severe cases, can lead to obstruction in the intestine and can cause death of puppies whose immune system is underdeveloped.

When infected by hookworms, the symptoms include anemia and diarrhea. Diarrhea is the most common symptom affecting dogs, in all types of canine worm infections. The symptoms of canine hookworm infections generally include weight loss, change in dog behavior, itching around the anus, dehydration, abdominal discomfort and loss of strength in the dog.

The treatment for canine worm infections are varied and again depend on the type of worm that has caused the infection. In the case of hookworm infection, the infected puppies and dogs must be kept isolated from the group so as to prevent the spreading of the infection. To reduce the possibility of a pregnant female dog transferring the infection to the young puppy, the dogs must be placed on a deworming program during the pregnancy phase. Humans can be infected by hookworms if human skin comes in contact with the dog feces. That is why it is advised that dogs should not be allowed to defecate on playgrounds, beaches and other areas where the human skin can accidentally come in contact with dog feces. For roundworm infection treatment, pet owners have to be vigilant in cleaning their dog's feces on a regular basis. Pet owners having a vegetable garden in the backyard must be careful that they wash the vegetables properly before consuming them. Mulch that is made from feces of canine animals must not be used in the gardens. Infection from tapeworms are the most dangerous one and can even affect humans. Tapeworms easily infect rabbits so if you have hound dogs like beagles, they must be discouraged to eat wild rabbits, else the tapeworm infection can be transferred to everyone. In most cases, treatments from the infection of canine worms, the dog is treated with garlic and various herbs.

Though garlic is a herb that has various positive health benefits for dogs, before using it one should consult an expert vet to seek advice on right doses. Some other herbs like black walnut, though a very hard herb, are used in fixed doses to kill parasites. Wormwood is a special herb that is used to boost the appetite and helps in improving the digestive system. Licorice is a useful in strengthening the lungs and reduces inflammation.

As we all know, prevention is better than cure, so canine worm prevention is the best option all pet owners must take. Proper dog care is essential to eliminate chances of any parasite invasion into the dog's body. Clean your dog regularly by lightly rubbing natural herbs like crushed mugwort or tansy leaves. Even lavender oil and tea tree oil are good for repelling bugs and killing parasites that invade the immune system. Always visit a veterinarian so that canine worms can be diagnosed and then you can be ready with correct medications for the dog.