Worms in dogs are as usual in canines as are fleas. They are one of the most common problems in dogs and even in puppies.
The good news is that they are easy to treat.
However, ignoring the problem can lead to serious illnesses or even, in very extreme cases, the death of the dog.
In rare cases, these worms can even transmit to humans, especially children.
They are parasites that survive inside the dog's body, especially in the intestine. They can live in the colon and grow and multiply there. They can cause different problems but it greatly depends on what type of worm the dog has.
There are five types of worms in dogs, the whipworm, hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, and the dreaded heartworm.
The known causes of worms in dogs are feeding of uncooked fish or meat, dirty environment and transmission of worms from faeces and carriers such as mosquitoes. Some worm eggs can even survive on the ground for up to 5 to 7 years.
The most common signs that are manifested in a dog with worms are diarrhoea that is sometimes accompanied with blood, dry hair, weight loss, poor general appearance and vomiting.
However, not all infestations show these symptoms, in some cases the symptoms are so obscure that the problem could even go on for several months without you knowing.
Some types of worm eggs can already be dormant in the body of the dog and only activate in times of stress. There are also types of worms that occur only until the later stage of pregnancy and infest in the unborn puppies.
It is important to diagnose the problem early and to know the type of parasite involved. If you suspect your dog is suffering from the problem than your vet will be able to diagnose the condition very easily.
The veterinarian will only need a stool sample to check for the presence of worms. They will also perform some microscopic examinations to tell if the dog has any other microscopic parasites.
It is very easy to treat worms in dogs as the parasites will quickly die when the dog is given deworming medications. These medications are either prescribed to you by the vet though you may need to give the dog a deworming medication in several doses as recommended by the veterinarian.
Worms in our dogs can be prevented. In the majority of cases all you need to do is to keep our dog's crate as well as the sleeping area clean, keeping your yard free from dog faeces and not feeding them on raw fish or meats.
It is also necessary to control fleas as they can carry with them certain worms and to prevent the dog from ingesting carcasses of animals such as rodents and rabbits.
Your dog can easily get infected with worms but controlling them is not hard to do by maintaining good hygiene and a clean environment for your dogs.