intestinal worms in dogsWhat are worms in dogs? It turns out that there are many types of worms that can infect your dog. Although different dog worms create similar symptoms, each type requires a specific type of medication for their treatment. In fact, if the wrong diagnosis is made and an inappropriate medication is used to treat the dog worms, an infestation can become more severe, or worsen, which may cause additional health problems for the dog. This is why it is important not to diagnose your dog’s worms yourself, but allow your veterinarian to do that instead. Three of the most common worms in dogs are hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms.

Intestinal Worms

Many people ask about worms in dog poop. When you see white worms in dog poop, this is likely intestinal worms. These types of worms thrive and reproduce, causing many undesirable side effects for your dog. These parasites attach to your dog’s intestinal wall, feeding on your dog’s nutrients. If no treatment is sought, an intestinal blockage may be the result, and can cause death. To prevent a situation like this, dogs should be tested once a year through a fecal sample. If you have a puppy, he or she needs to be given a dewormer medication to provide protection for all worms, including heartworms.

Hook Worms in Dogs

Hookworms are a type of small, intestinal worms. They use their hook-like teeth to attach to the lining of the dog’s intestines. Hookworms are the most common type of parasitic worms in dogs. Veterinarians have estimated that about 20% of pets in the US have hookworms. Did you know that humans can even contract hookworms from their dogs? Hookworms lay eggs in the dog’s intestinal tract, which are expelled in the dog’s feces. The health of both young and elderly dogs are particularly vulnerable when they have a hookworm infection.

Reason for Worms in Dogs

One logical question is, how do dogs get worms? One way is by eating fleas. Another is from catching prey such as mice and snails. Dogs also get worms by eating the feces of other pets and farm animals. However, it should also be noted that puppies are born with intestinal worms. This happens because worms resting within the mother’s body are stimulated to grow by hormonal secretions during pregnancy. These worms pass through the placenta and into the puppy. Worms are also passed to the puppy through its mother’s milk.

Worms in Humans

Many people may wonder, “Can humans get worms from dogs?” The unfortunate answer is yes. According to WebMD, you can pick up hookworms and roundworms from walking barefoot or playing outside, where the dog has defecated. Tapeworms can be picked up in humans by accidentally swallowing a flea that is infected with tapeworm larvae. Symptoms of a hookworm infection in humans include painful and itchy skin infections, or abdominal symptoms. To prevent this from happening, have your puppies dewormed by the vet, and teach children to wash their hands after touching your dog.

Medications: How to Get Rid of Worms in Dogs

  • Hookworms are treated with the following medications: Sentinel, Drontal Plus, Panacur-C, Heartguard Plus, Worm X, Iverhart Plus and Interceptor.
  • Whipworms are treated with the following medications: Sentinel, Drontal Plus, Panacur-C and Interceptor.
  • Tapeworms are treated with Drontal Plus, Panacur-C and Tapeworm Tabs.

It is important that if you suspect your dog has worms, you take him or her to the veterinarian immediately. This is important because each type of intestinal worm needs a targeted medicine to cure the condition.

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