Canine intestinal worms come in all shapes and sizes and at any given time your canine can have any number of parasitic worms in his system. The half-inch-long hookworm is common in canines as well as the tapeworm. If left untreated these parasitic worms can grow up to staggering sizes. Just think, the tapeworm can reach up to three feet long if left untreated and it can have as many as 90 segments.
Other types of canine worms include: roundworm and whipworm. Hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and whipworms thrive in the dog’s intestines. Round worms look like spaghetti and tapeworm segments look like grains of rice.
How to detect canine intestinal worms
One of the easiest ways to detect canine intestinal worms is to simply examine your dog’s feces. This can be accomplished by sight alone. Canine intestinal worms can also be found in your dog’s food, on or buried in your dog’s fur, around his anus, around his paws (from scratching) and it is not uncommon to find them in your dog’s ears.
Where do canine intestinal worms come from?
Fleas are a major source of certain types of worms, such as tapeworms. When a dog accidentally swallows an infected flea, worms can hatch in the dog’s intestines. These types of tapeworms can also be transmitted to humans as well. Animal carcasses such as rodents and rabbits may also contain tapeworms, so be sure to keep your pets away from them at all costs.
Canine intestinal worms can also be contracted from other pet’s feces, which can be easily be found in parks, on pet runs, and even in your own backyard. Whipworm and roundworm eggs can remain infectious for years, and hookworm larvae can multiply in the soil in and around a dog run, park or yard.
Symptoms of canine intestinal worms
Symptoms of canine intestinal worms include:
·Change in your dog’s appetite
·Coughing and hiccupping (due to heartworm)
·Distended abdomen in puppies
·Inability to exercise
How to prevent canine worms
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent canine intestinal worms. One of the most important ways to prevent a serious canine worm infection is to have your pet screened for worms twice per year. If your dog is considered high-risk for intestinal worms, you should have him screened more than twice a year. High-risk dogs typically live in condensed urban areas and they usually live in a home with more than one pet. Show pets and hunting dogs are also considered high-risk. Caring for a dog with worms should be done only under the care of a vet. Most non-prescription medications don’t work. Your vet will have access to a number of cutting edge preventatives that are extremely effective against the most aggressive types of parasites such as roundworm, whipworm, hookworm, and heartworm.
In addition to preventative measures, it’s also a good idea to keep your dog clean and well groomed. You should also dispose of dog feces immediately. Never leave it in piles around your yard, dog run, etc. If you notice any of the symptoms of canine worms listed above, please contact your vet immediately. Continue reading to learn more about the most serious of all canine worms — heartworm.
Interested in alternative cures for canine intestinal worms? Speak with your vet about alternative cures or contact the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association to locate a holistic vet in your area.
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