Why Worms are so bad For Your Dog and How to Treat Them

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Five types of parasites or more commonly known as worms are problematic as they infect dogs. There are heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. The type of worm that will infect canines depends on the area you live. Here is why these worms are so bad for your dog.

Roundworms

Roundworms usually spread during pregnancy or in feces or nursing and are capable of causing serious problems in dogs. If puppies get infected by roundworms, it can be fatal. As roundworms eat the food of your canine, it can cause the following symptoms:

  • Belly pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dull coat
  • Potbelly
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

Hookworms

Hookworms usually live in the canine’s small intestine and suck the host’s blood. Adult canines get hookworms when they clean themselves or through its skin. These worms pass on to the puppies if their mother is infected. Canines that have hookworms exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Anemia
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammation of small intestine
  • Lining of ears, lips, and nostril become pale
  • Poor appetite

If canines don’t receive treatment for hookworms on time, it can be fatal.

Heartworms

Heartworms infect canines when mosquitos bite them. Hookworms can grow up to 14 inches and live in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs and the heart of the canine. When heartworms infect canines, they cause the following symptoms:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Bulging chest
  • Difficult or rapid breathing
  • Dry and soft cough
  • Nosebleed
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss

If the canines don’t receive treatment for heartworms, they will attack the heart and block the flow of blood. As a result of this, the canines will collapse, suffer from shock and their red blood cells get destroyed. Within a few days, the infection will prove fatal.

Whipworms

The area where large and small intestines meet is where you will find whipworms. They feed on their hosts by sucking their blood. Canines pick them up by grooming or from contaminated soil. Whipworms can cause the following symptoms in canines:

  • Anemia
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Large bowel inflammation
  • Weight loss

Whipworms cause serious problems when there is a large number of them.

Tapeworms

When canines swallow fleas or lick themselves, they can get infected by tapeworms. Tapeworms attach to the intestine and absorb the nutrients of the canines. Tapeworms are made up of tiny segments that are as big as a grain of rice. There are no signs of infection when tapeworms infect canines. However, on rare occasions, the following symptoms can be observed:

  • Diarrhea
  • Distended abdomen
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Poor skin or coat
  • Weight loss

Treatment

The type of treatment given by the vet depends on the worm infecting the canine. Fenbendazole and Pyrantel pamoate is used to treat hookworms and roundworms. To treat tapeworms, the vet will give Epsiprante and Praziquantel. For whipworms, the canine will receive Febantel and Fenbendazole. If the canine has tapeworms, Epsiprantel, Fenbendazole, and Praziquantel are effective.

Always consult the vet before giving any medications to your canine. If you have any queries, feel free to leave a comment below.