The Nasty Little Worms Your Dog Can Get

dogs with wormsWorms are an unpleasant and potentially serious health problem for dogs. When your dog is around other dogs, such as at the local park or at a boarding or day care facility, there’s a risk of being exposed to contagious worms. Knowing more about these worms and how to protect your pup is important, especially if you plan on bringing your dog to facilities or places where he’ll be around many other dogs.

Heartworms

Heartworms are worms that can cause life-threatening complications in dogs. These worms are spread through mosquito bites. When mosquitoes carrying heartworm larvae bite dogs, these larvae can enter their bloodstream. They end up spreading to the heart and other areas and live up to seven years inside dogs.

Heartworm infections don’t cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages, but they can lead to heart failure and other damage to major organs over time. You can protect your dog from heartworm by using a heartworm preventative product. Some of these products offer protection against other types of worms as well, such as hookworms.

Hookworms

Hookworms are contagious worms that can cause fatal infections, especially in puppies. These worms can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as diarrhea with blood in it, decreased appetite, dark stool and coughing due to worms in the lungs. Some dogs with a hookworm infection also have pale coloring in their lips and nostrils.

Dogs with these infections need to undergo treatment. Any dogs that are around them, such as other pets in the house, need to be treated as a precaution. Vets can test for hookworms and provide treatment if needed. You won’t see hookworms, since they’re very small, but your vet can test your dog’s fecal matter for them.

Roundworms

Roundworm infections can affect puppies, adult dogs and even people. One type of roundworm, which commonly occurs in puppies, is the kind that can infect people. Roundworms are intestinal worms that can cause diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms in dogs. Puppies can get these worms from drinking infected milk from their mother. Adult dogs can get them by ingesting contaminated soil or other items.

Vets can test fecal matter for roundworms and provide medication that treats these infections. You can prevent roundworms by using a heartworm preventative that also protects against these worms.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are worms found in fleas. Dogs can get these worms when fleas are around either indoors or outdoors. Tapeworm infections might cause no symptoms, but they can cause diarrhea, appetite changes and other symptoms in more severe cases.

Your vet can check for tapeworms in your dog’s fecal matter. Treatment for these infections includes medication that eliminates them from the intestinal tract. Using flea control products can help lower your dog’s risk of tapeworm infections.

Whipworms

Whipworms are worms that can live in a dog’s large intestine for several years. These worms don’t always cause symptoms in dogs, but some can cause weight loss, anemia, diarrhea and other symptoms.

Cleaning up dog feces right away is an important part of preventing whipworms from spreading. Whipworm infection treatment involves medication that kills these worms. Certain heartworm preventatives protect dogs from whipworms.

At DoGone Fun, we have certain requirements for dogs that board or visit for day care. These requirements, which include a fecal test, are meant to protect dogs from catching worms and other health problems. Owners must show proof that a fecal test done within the past 12 months was negative for parasites. Please contact us for more details on our requirements for dog day care and dog boarding at our facility.