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Dog Worms: Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

Dog Worms: Symptoms of Worms in Dogs
Worm infestation is a common problem is dogs, especially among the puppies, which can produce a number of health problems and symptoms. Read on to find more about dog worms symptoms.
Chandramita Bora
Last Updated: Jan 20, 2018
Worms are parasitic organisms that can cause a lot of health problems in dogs, especially if the immune system of your dog is not strong enough to check their population. There are several types of worms that can affect your dog and depending on the types, the symptoms can vary considerably.
Many people believe that most of the dogs are borne with worms, passed on from their mothers. But, even if they are not born with worms, they can easily come in contact with these parasites, by consuming worm infested foods. Many times, this may be a result of feeding uncooked or half-cooked meat or fish.
Besides this, dogs are omnivorous and they can eat almost everything, including dead animals and feces, for which they can easily contract intestinal worms. Sometimes, mosquito bites can also spread worms, especially heartworms from an infected animal to a healthy one. In this article we are going to discuss various symptoms of worms in dogs according to their various types.
Dog Worms Symptoms
There are five different types of worms that can infect your dogs. They are, tapeworms, roundworms, heartworms, whipworms and hookworms. Each type of worm can produce several symptoms of dog illnesses, but, out of them, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, low energy or lethargy, anemia, dull coat and bad breath are some common symptoms. Apart from this, you can also observe your dog frequently rubbing or dragging his rear end on the ground. Now let's have a brief look at the specific dog worm symptoms that the different types of worms can produce.
Symptoms of Tapeworms in Dogs
Tapeworms are one of the most common parasites, that can infect your dogs. They are usually flat and tape-like and grow in segments, each having separate digestive and respiratory systems. These segments can break off in the intestine of your dog and then come out with stools. So, if you observe carefully, you can see something like small rice grains in their feces, which are actually dried segments of tapeworms. Symptoms of tapeworms in dogs are:
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Itching
  • Abdominal pain
  • Restlessness
Symptoms of Roundworms in Dogs
Roundworms are the most common type of worms, that can infect your dog's intestines. These worms can be passed on by the mothers to their puppies. This can happen either before birth, when they are in the womb, or after birth through the mother's milk. But, many times, dogs can contact these worms by ingesting worm infected foods or soil. If your dog is infected by these worms, then he can experience symptoms like:
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Pot bellied appearance
Symptoms of Whipworms in Dogs
As the name suggests these worms look like a whip and inhabit the intestines of the dog, especially the large intestine. They remain attached to the intestinal wall and suck blood. Whipworms in dogs can produce symptoms like:
  • Anemia
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Dehydration
  • Bloody and slimy stools
  • Lethargy
  • Severe weight loss
Symptoms of Hookworms in Dogs
Hookworms can enter through the skin of your dog to reach the lungs. In the lungs they are coughed up and then swallowed by the dog. They settle on the intestine, where they feed on blood and cause intestinal bleeding and anemia. Apart from this, hookworm infestation can also cause:
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin dryness
  • Itchy feet
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloody stools
  • Weight loss
Symptoms of Heartworms in Dogs
Out of all the worms, heartworms can be the most dangerous worms that can cause serious illnesses and even death of your pet dogs. Instead of the intestines, heartworms inhabit the dogs' respiratory systems. There would not be any visible symptom until the worms mature and establish themselves in the lungs and heart of the affected dog. If not treated on time, the affected dog ultimately suffers from congestive heart failure. Dogs can get in contact with these worms only through mosquito bites. The specific symptoms of heartworms include:
  • Cough
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Fainting spells
  • Weakness
  • Enlargement of the abdomen
  • High blood pressure
Dog worms symptoms usually play a crucial role in the proper diagnosis of the condition. However, veterinarians have to perform some other tests like stool analysis, to identify the particular type of worm. To cure dog worms, veterinarians would prescribe some wormer or medications like ivermectin, pyrantel pamoate, praziquantel, fenbendazole and milbemycin oxime. The treatment and medication can vary considerably, depending on the types of worms that have infected your dog. To ensure timely diagnosis and treatment, the dog owners should remain vigilant for the symptoms of worms in dogs. Also important, is maintaining cleanliness, feeding well-cooked food especially meat and fish, and keeping your dogs away from dead animals and feces, to prevent a worm infestation.
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