Symptoms Of Worms In Dogs

By Tess Thompson

These are the most common worms that infest dogs:

  • Hookworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Roundworms
  • Whipworms
  • Heartworms

The simplest 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 because whole worms can usually be seen in the feces. Tapeworm segments are noticed sticking to the dog’s anus or tail. Hookworms and whipworms are very small, therefore cannot be spotted in the dog’s feces with the naked eye. Heartworm is not an intestinal parasite so it cannot be observed in excrement.

Sometimes worms do not get excreted in the stool. Therefore it is imperative that pet owners know the types of worms that can infest pets and the symptoms of worms in dogs and cats. This can allow them to identify certain symptoms of worms irrespective of whether they appear in the stools.

Even though some worms are more harmful than others, all types of worms are detrimental to your dog’s health. Diarrhea, inactivity, appetite loss and vomiting are some of the common symptoms that are indicative of a worm infestation. There are however some typical symptoms related to different types of worms.

Young dogs that are severely infested with roundworms have a poor starting coat and a potbellied appearance. When roundworm larvae appear in the lungs, they can cause bronchitis.

Hookworms are blood suckers and can effectively drain and consume energy from whatever the dog eats. Severe hookworm presence in a dog leads to anemia and diminished vitality. Puppies do not have fully developed blood-replacing systems in the body, therefore hookworms in puppies can prove to be fatal.

Dog tapeworms produce atypical behavior. Dogs tend to drag their rear end along the ground as if trying to find relief from irritation. Whipworms usually do not produce any visible discomfort or behavior that is atypical, but foul, tar-like diarrhea is one of the signs that your pet may have whipworms.

Heartworms are not a common occurrence in dogs in cold climates, but their presence cannot be ruled out altogether. Heartworms live in the heart and the adjoining blood vessels. The symptoms are similar those that you would associate with heart disease, such as the inability to tolerate exercise and fluid retention in the abdomen.

Canine and feline parasites can be highly problematic. Roundworms and tapeworms can block intestinal passages by sheer numbers. Hookworms can totally drain energy by denying the host dog of all the benefits of a healthy diet. The encouraging part is that most worms are easy to cure by a simple de-worming course. Early detection is possible through keen observation.


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