There are 5 different kinds of dog worms that your dog can fall victim to―whipworm, tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm, and heartworm. The major symptoms are:
- Low energy level
- Pot-bellied appearance
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Dull coat
Wormy dogs will eat dirt and rubbish. Some days they are ravenously hungry, the next day they will not eat at all; their sleep is disturbed by intestinal rumbling and dreams, the urine is high-colored and frequently passed, bowels irregular, stomach easily unsettled, watery mucus is frequently vomited and the mouth is hot, sticky and full of ropy saliva.
A wormy dog is generally an unhealthy and unhappy dog. It could even be deadly, particularly so for young puppies. Bring your dog to a veterinarian at the earliest.
Signs to Lookout For
The easiest manner in which you can confirm the presence of worms in dogs is by observing the animal's feces.
- Roundworms are the easiest to spot as majority of the times whole worms can be seen in the feces.
- The structure of tapeworms comprises segments and small segments that detach from the main body can be seen sticking to the dog's anus or the tail.
- Hookworms and whipworms are very small and therefore cannot be spotted in the dog's excreta using the naked eye.
- Heartworm is not an intestinal parasite and is not passed out with the waste, which comes out of the intestines.
Even though certain worms are more harmful than others, all types of worms are detrimental to your dog's health. There are some typical symptoms related to different types of worms.
Young dogs that are severely infested with roundworms have potbellied appearance and a poor starting coat. When roundworm larvae appear in the lungs they cause bronchitis.
Hookworms are bloodsuckers and can effectively drain and consume energy from the dog's diets. Severe hookworm presence in a dog leads to diminished vitality and anemia. Puppies do not have fully developed blood-replacing systems in the body and therefore hookworms in puppies may be fatal.
Dog tapeworms produce a characteristic behavior. Dogs tend to drag their rear end along the ground as if trying to alleviate irritation. Whipworms usually do not produce any visible discomfort or a behavior that is characteristic. But smelly tar, like diarrhea, is one of the signs that should be further investigated.
Heartworms are not a frequent occurrence in dogs in cold countries but their presence cannot be ruled out altogether. Heartworms live in the heart and the adjoining blood vessels and the symptoms are usually similar to what you would associate with a heart disease. These are the inability to tolerate exercise and fluid retention in the abdomen.
Canine and feline parasites can be very problematic. Tapeworms and roundworms can block intestinal passages by sheer numbers. Hookworms can totally drain energy by denying the host dog of all benefits of food. The good news is that most worms are easy to cure by a simple de-worming course. An early detection is possible but only by keen observation.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.